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Adult Immunizations: What You Need

Adult Immunizations and Pregnancy

If you are pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it is important that you make sure your adult immunizations are current. A child's first set of immunities is often passed on from the mother, and more importantly, contracting certain infectious diseases -- such as rubella -- while pregnant greatly increases a child's risk of birth defects.

The benefits of vaccinating pregnant women usually outweighs the risks of the vaccine, says the CDC. Risks to a developing fetus from a vaccine are largely theoretical, while risks to a fetus from an infectious disease contracted by the mother are well documented.

All women who are pregnant need to talk with their doctor about getting a flu shot and about getting the Tdap vaccine. The Tdap vaccine provides protection against tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis and should be given during the third trimester of each pregnancy.

If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant, talk to your health care provider before being vaccinated with a live virus vaccine, such as chickenpox, measles, or the LAIV flu vaccine. If possible, avoid live virus vaccinations during pregnancy or right before pregnancy since live virus vaccines can increase the risk of transmitting the disease to the fetus. If you're considering becoming pregnant and need a live virus vaccine, wait at least four weeks after vaccination before trying to get pregnant.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Lisa B. Bernstein, MD on July 13, 2015
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