Vaccinations during Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most beautiful phases of a women’s life. The feeling of having another life grow within you in itself is awe-inspiring. Gradually you begin to realize that you are not only responsible for the well-being of yourself but also your child. Everything is interconnected with your baby. There are a lot of things that help in having a healthy pregnancy. Some of these things include a good diet, a healthy exercise routine, a happy and peaceful environment and importantly taking your vaccinations. Vaccinations help protect you and your baby against serious diseases.
There is a lot that goes into deciding which vaccines are good for you and which are not. For example when I suffered through a severe gallstone attack, I had to wait for the pain to naturally subside as I couldn’t be given a pain vaccine. Everything you do in your pregnancy is related to your little one. From what you eat to what you think, everything is bound to affect your baby. The medicines that go into a vaccine shot also will eventually reach your child. Hence, it becomes extremely important to be careful when you are receiving a vaccination while you are pregnant.
What Vaccines are recommended?
There are two vaccines that are recommended for pregnant women. They are, vaccine for influenza which is the commonly known as the Flu shot and the other one is TDAP vaccine.
The benefits of these both not only help you in your pregnancy but also are beneficial for your baby. They protect you and your baby from any infections that may affect you’ll.
Flu (influenza) shot – This vaccine is recommended for women who are pregnant during the flu season. They say that your body is most susceptible when you are pregnant. Some women are in the best of their health when they are pregnant however a vaccine like a flu shot becomes necessary to help you come up with the changing climate and weather conditions around you.
TDAP Vaccine – The medical name for this vaccine is, tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine. This is a vaccine which protects you and your new born from pertussis. Pertussis is nothing but whooping cough as whooping cough can get very dangerous for both you and your child. This vaccine is usually given between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
What Vaccines are not recommended?
Travelling is not recommend all through your pregnancy, your medical provider may allow you travel only between a certain periods. In case you decide to travel abroad, you will recommended vaccines like Hepatitis B too. While your health care provider will give you various medications to make pregnancy smooth and beneficial for your baby, the vaccines will be judged on what kind of virus it contains.
When I say virus, it doesn’t mean an infection kind of virus, it simply means checking what source the vaccines are made from. You need to avoid vaccines like measles, mmr, rubella during pregnancy as they contain live viruses. You should only take vaccines that contain inactive virus. Inactive viruses are made from protein of a virus or bacteria. Yes, bacteria is good just like the bacteria meant to keep your gut healthy.
While it is accepted that Vaccines help to keep the mum and the baby healthy, there are certain vaccines that need to be avoided as they may cause harm to them both. Besides the vaccinations that are mentioned above, you also need to watch out for any oral doses or polio or pneumococcal vaccines.
What are the after effects of vaccines?
Similar to the law of physics which says, every action has an equal or opposite reaction, vaccines can also have reactions. The reactions can range from the following
- Soreness or Redness at the site of injection.
- Fever in some cases.
- Rash and swelling in various parts of the body.
- General discomfort and pain.
- Headache and fatigue.
These reactions and allergies can vary from person to person and may take up to two to three weeks to heal too. All women are advised to get vaccinated before pregnancy as for some women the period of pregnancy can be really tough. Your medical expert will guide you on what vaccinations are necessary for you. It is always and always advisable to check with your doctor, before taking a vaccine. Your medical expert will be well aware of your condition and will advise you accordingly. In case you face any discomfort due to any medication or vaccines, always let your medical expert know well in advance.
Women who are pregnant are always advised utmost care when it comes to their medication and vaccine schedule. There are certain tests and vaccines that cannot be conducted with pregnant women as they pose a danger to the child too. Hence, every action should be taken post consultation with your doctor.