Immunizations and Pregnancy

Immunizations can help keep you healthy. They can also protect your baby from some diseases until your baby can receive vaccines. If you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, the vaccines you need are determined by your:

  • Age.

  • Lifestyle.

  • Medical history.

  • Travel plans.

  • Previous vaccines.

Vaccine benefits usually outweigh risks in pregnant women when:

  • The risk of disease exposure is high.

  • Infection would pose a risk to you or your unborn baby.

  • The vaccine is unlikely to cause harm.

IMMUNIZATIONS BEFORE PREGNANCY

If possible, make sure that your immunizations are up-to-date before becoming pregnant. Before your pregnancy, it is safe and important for you to receive weakened viral and bacterial (inactivated) vaccines as needed. Live viral and live bacterial (attenuated) vaccines should be given 1 month or more before pregnancy. Some examples of attenuated vaccines include:

  • Adenovirus.

  • Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV).

  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR).

  • Measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella (MMRV).

  • Polio (IPV).

  • Rotovirus (RV5 or RV1).

  • Smallpox (vaccinia).

  • Typhoid (capsule form of the vaccine).

  • Varicella (VAR).

  • Yellow fever (YF).

If you become pregnant within 1 month after receiving an attenuated vaccine, contact your caregiver.

IMMUNIZATIONS DURING PREGNANCY

During your pregnancy, it is safe and important for you to receive inactivated vaccines as needed. Until your baby can receive vaccines, your baby will get some protection to diseases from your vaccines. You should receive inactivated influenza (IIV) and adult tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis vaccines (Tdap) during your pregnancy.

  • IIV. The inactivated seasonal "flu shot" will protect you and your baby (up to 6 months of age) from some complications and strains of influenza. Pregnant women can receive IIV at any time and during any trimester.

  • Tdap. This vaccine will help prevent pertussis (whooping cough) in you and your baby. You should receive 1 dose of this vaccine during each pregnancy. It is recommended that this vaccine be received during the 27th through 36th week of pregnancy.

Attenuated vaccines are not usually given to pregnant women. There is a possible risk of passing the vaccine virus or bacteria to the unborn baby. If you are pregnant and received an attenuated vaccine, contact your caregiver. Risks versus benefits should always be determined before a pregnant woman gets immunized with an attenuated vaccine.

IMMUNIZATIONS AFTER PREGNANCY

After your pregnancy, it is safe and important for you to receive vaccines as needed. This is true even if you are breastfeeding. If you did not receive the Tdap vaccine during your pregnancy, you should receive the vaccine right after delivery. You should receive MMR or MMRV within days after delivery if you are not immune to measles, mumps, rubella, or varicella.

IMMUNIZATIONS FOR PREGNANT INTERNATIONAL TRAVELERS

If you are pregnant and planning international travel, talk to your caregiver at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip. Discuss precautions or vaccine options. The risk of disease and immunization should always be determined before you receive vaccines.

Immunizations that are recommended for pregnant international travelers include:

  • Hepatitis B (HepB).

  • IIV.

  • Tdap or Td.

  • Hepatitis A (HepA).

Immunizations that should be delayed or given only when benefits outweigh the risk of disease exposure for pregnant international travelers include:

  • Japanese encephalitis (JE).

  • Meningococcal meningitis (MPSV4 or MCV4).

  • Pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPSV23).

  • IPV.

  • Rabies.

  • Typhoid.

  • YF.

Immunizations that should not be given to pregnant international travelers include:

  • BCG tuberculosis.

  • MMR.

  • MMRV.

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV4 or HPV2).

  • VAR.

  • LAIV.