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.
This article has been written with editorial inputs from Dr. Swati Sinha, who has decades of experience as an Obstetrician-Gynecologist and has handled high-risk and low-risk pregnancies successfully. She is loved and appreciated by couples not only for her expertise but also for her optimistic and supportive nature.
Dr. Swati Sinha, MBBS, Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi (1996); MD (Obstetrics & Gynaecology), Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi (2001); MRCOG Part 1 (October 2010)
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