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Pre-pregnancy health is just as important as pregnancy health. Your immune system is critical to your baby and his/her ability to fight against illness. Women hoping to conceive should get vaccinated before getting pregnant to protect themselves from various viruses. While some vaccines are still safe during pregnancy, it is important to know which ones are not. Read on to find out which vaccines you should get before trying to conceive.
What vaccines should I take before pregnancy?
The MMR Vaccine, including measles, mumps, and rubella should be taken at least one month before pregnancy. Measles is a serious viral illness that may start with a runny nose, cough, fever, and sore throat. It develops with a rash that spreads all over the body, it is extremely contagious, and is transmitted through coughing and sneezing.
Mumps is another contagious viral disease which leads to swollen salivary glands. Pregnant women who become infected with mumps or measles have a high risk of miscarriage. In addition, measles can cause premature labor.
Lastly, rubella virus which is also known as German measles, has similar symptoms to the flu along with a rash. The rubella virus can be extremely dangerous during pregnancy. According to Parents.com; “Up to 85% of babies of moms who contract it during the first trimester develop serious birth defects, such as hearing loss and intellectual disabilities”.
Chicken Pox Vaccine
Contracting the chicken pox during pregnancy may be very harmful to the baby. “About 2% of babies of women who develop chickenpox during the first five months of pregnancy have birth defects including malformed and paralyzed limbs”. It is also important to note that if a woman gets chicken pox near her delivery date, the mother can pass along a life-threatening strain of the infection to the baby.
What vaccines are safe to get during pregnancy?
With pregnancy comes a change in your immune system, heart, and lungs which increases your chances of getting the flu. The CDC advises that the most effective way for a woman to protect her body and her baby is by getting the flu vaccination at the end of October.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that pregnant women should request the flu shot as opposed to the nasal spray. In addition, they advise that the influenza vaccine be inactive: “The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus, so it’s safe for both mother and baby during any stage of pregnancy”. Pregnant women who get the flu have a higher probability of developmental issues as well as an increase in premature labor and delivery.
Hepatitis B Vaccine
Last but not least, Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver. If a woman gets Hepatitis B during pregnancy, it escalates a baby’s chances of contracting the infection from the mother.