Pregnant Women

The CDC has guidelines for the vaccines you need before, during, and after pregnancy. Some vaccine-preventable diseases, such as rubella, can pose a serious risk to your health and that of your developing baby.

You should get some vaccines, like Tdap (to protect against whooping cough), during your pregnancy so your baby will have short-term protection at birth.

Pregnant women, their unborn babies, and newborns have a higher risk of serious illness and complications from the flu. Getting the flu vaccine can protect the pregnant mother and her baby. It can also prevent the spread of the flu from mother to child after delivery. Routine influenza vaccination is recommended for all women who are or will be pregnant (in any trimester) during influenza season, which in the United States is usually early October through late March. Also, if you develop Influenza like illness symptoms while pregnant do not wait to contact your health care provider. You may need to start antiviral treatment (such as Tamiflu) to help prevent more serious illness.

You can also provide indirect protection to your baby by making sure everyone who is around him is up-to-date with their vaccinations. When your baby’s family members and caregivers get vaccinated, they are not only protecting their own health, but also helping form a "cocoon" of disease protection around the baby during the first few months of life. Anyone who is around babies should be up-to-date with a Tdap and Flu vaccine.

It is safe for a woman to receive vaccines right after giving birth, even while she is breastfeeding. Be sure to discuss each vaccine with your health care professional before getting vaccinated.

While not yet vaccine-preventable, you may have questions about Zika Virus and Pregnancy. The CDC continues to provide updated information.