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Vaccinations Before and During Pregnancy

Vaccinations Before and During Pregnancy


While most people don't like the idea of needles, shots are a necessary part of pre-conception and pregnancy health. There are certain immunizations that every woman of childbearing age should have, so if you want to get pregnant, make sure you're covered for these diseases:

Rubella: Some people are immune to rubella (also called German measles). If you plan on becoming pregnant, you'll need to talk to your doctor about testing to see if you are immune to it. Rubella can cause serious birth defects, so you'll have to get a shot to protect yourself if tests show you aren't immune to this strain of measles. It's essential that you get this shot before you conceive; as once you're pregnant you can't get it until after delivery. Any immunization with live viruses cannot be given once you're pregnant so if you haven't been vaccinated for measles or mumps, do it before you conceive.

If you're pregnant during flu season you should definitely get a flu shot. Your immunity is slightly compromised while you're pregnant, so you'll be more susceptible to colds and flu. Flu shots are completely safe during any trimester, and can help you fend off nasty viruses that can leave you really ill and run down. The best time to get your flu shot is in October or November, before the flu season hits hardest.

Another safe immunization that is recommended by doctors is a tetanus shot. If you haven't received a tetanus shot in 10 years or more, you need to do so. Tetanus comes from bacteria in waste, and can enter skin through a small cut or scratch on your body. It can cause lockjaw, spasms and convulsions. Tetanus is often fatal for a fetus that is exposed to tetanus through the mother, so protect yourself and your unborn baby by getting vaccinated at any point during pregnancy.

Your lifestyle plays a role in the vaccinations that you should get during pregnancy. If you work in health care or another job where you're exposed to many people, you should consider a Hepatitis B, Hepatitis A, and Pneumococcus shot if you have a lung condition. Hepatitis B can cause fatigue, liver problems such as jaundice or liver cancer, and death in more serious cases. Hepatitis A causes flu-like symptoms but has been known to cause premature labor and fetal death.

Make sure you're up to date with your vaccines before you get pregnant, and talk to your doctor about which shots he or she advises for a healthy pregnancy.

 


 
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