With some of the misinformation and misunderstandings surrounding vaccinations during pregnancy, our consultants see and resolve a lot of confusion from expecting parents. Typically, the concerns are related to how safe vaccinations are and how they will affect the baby’s development.
Take, for instance, Shruti Saini, who began consulting at Sitaram Bhartia for her first pregnancy. Shruti was a fairly young first-time mom and at 26-years old, she was confused about how to tackle most aspects of her pregnancy, including vaccinations.
“My mom told me that she never got a single injection when she was pregnant. But in my first few consultations, my doctor told me about the vaccination I had to take” said Shruti. “At first, I didn’t know whom to believe, but I did get vaccinated finally.”
Shruti’s hesitance about getting vaccinated was quite natural and expected for our team. “There is naturally a fear about taking medications during pregnancy because of the potential effects on the baby” says Dr. Swati Sinha, OB-GYN at Sitaram Bhartia. “But on the flip side, we also see a lot of couples asking for medications that are not always necessary.”
As a general rule, any medication or vaccination should only be taken when recommended by a doctor, and especially so during pregnancy. But some confusion still persists around which vaccines can be taken and which can’t.
“Generally, we don’t recommend any vaccines with live viruses or bacteria in them” said Dr. Swati. “So, vaccinations for diseases like HPV, measles, or chickenpox are out of the picture because the live strain might be harmful for babies.”
Our table below outlines the vaccines that are recommended and given if necessary.
|Recommended||Given if Necessary|
|1. Tetanus Toxoid - 2 shots, four weeks apart in your fourth and fifth |
months, or later. Occasional side effects include soreness at the
injection site, body ache, and mild fever, which can be managed by a cold compress or a single tablet of paracetamol, if required.
The Tetanus vaccine protects the mother against the disease
and gives passive immunity to the baby by transferring
|1. Rabies - after dog, rat, or monkey bites.
2. Influenza - any time after 26 weeks
3. Yellow Fever - required if you’re traveling to a place that’s endemic to yellow fever.
4. Hepatitis B - required only in certain circumstances.
If you have any further questions about vaccinations during pregnancy, please leave us a comment below.