Vaccines during pregnancy: Know why they are important for the mother and the baby

Vaccines during pregnancy are important for the health of the mother and the baby. Know their importance and why they should get it.
Vaccines during pregnancy
Vaccines during pregnancy: Know why they are important? Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Dr Sushruta Mokadam Published: 21 Apr 2023, 12:00 pm IST
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Vaccinations are a crucial part of prenatal care that offer critical protection to women and their fetuses. Prenatal immunization is a low-cost technique for improving pregnancy outcomes in India. There is no scientific study that indicates the danger to the fetus following the immunisation of pregnant women with inactivated vaccines, bacterial vaccinations, or toxoids on a global scale. Maternal vaccination has significant health advantages for both pregnant mothers and their unborn children.

All you need to know about vaccines during pregnancy

Receiving vaccines on time is critical for the health of both the mother and the infant. The vaccinations you receive during and throughout pregnancy play an important role in ensuring your well-being, as well as the health of your kid. The baby’s first line of defence against some actual diseases is the mother’s immunity.

vaccine during pregnancy
Know the importance of vaccine during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Antibodies are abundant in pregnant women. They convey these antibodies to the baby during the last month of pregnancy. Vaccinations stimulate the development of these antibodies in mothers and children.

Vaccines are classified into three types: live viruses, dead viruses, and toxoids (healthy, artificially modified proteins drawn from bacteria). Pregnant women should avoid getting live virus vaccinations, such as the combined measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine (MMR) since there is a chance they can harm their unborn child. Dead virus vaccinations, such as the flu shot, and pathogen antibodies, such as tetanus/diphtheria/pertussis (Tdap) vaccine, are safe.

Immunisations prior to pregnancy

Before getting pregnant, make sure you have all of your usual vaccines up to date. This is significant since certain vaccinations cannot be administered during pregnancy yet provide significant protection. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination, for example, should not be administered during pregnancy (and should be administered at least four weeks before getting pregnant), but rubella infection during pregnancy can result in miscarriage and major birth abnormalities.

It’s also critical to ensure that everyone in your home has all of their vaccines up to date. This reduces the possibility of a household member contracting a vaccine-preventable disease and passing it on to you or your child.

Vaccination during pregnancy

Throughout each pregnancy, pregnant women should receive pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination as well as influenza (flu) vaccine.

Other vaccinations

Other immunisations may be indicated during pregnancy in specific circumstances. Here are several examples – A pregnant woman who is at high risk of hepatitis B infection due to her profession, lifestyle, or family history may benefit from the hepatitis B vaccination.

Pregnant women travelling to places where these illnesses are widespread may benefit from hepatitis A, meningococcal, and polio immunisations.

vaccine during pregnancy
Know all about getting vaccinated during pregnancy. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Importance of vaccination during pregnancy

Vaccination during pregnancy is a simple and efficient method of protecting both the mother and the child from certain illnesses. During pregnancy, immune changes occur that may be responsible for vulnerability to some infectious illnesses, increasing the chance of more devastating results. Vaccination of pregnant women can protect the mother against vaccine-preventable illnesses, potentially protecting the fetus. Vaccination during pregnancy can also protect the fetus and baby directly through antibody transfer from the mother to the fetus. This is why prenatal vaccines are so vital along with other pregnancy care methods.

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Prenatal vaccination is a low-cost technique for improving pregnancy outcomes in India. Vaccination with inactivated viral, bacterium, or toxoid in pregnancy poses a conceivable risk to a growing fetus. Nonetheless, the live vaccination does offer a potential risk to a growing fetus. As a result, all live immunisations should be avoided while pregnant. Lack of information about the benefits of vaccination during pregnancy is a common obstacle, as is a lack of concern about vaccine safety.

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About the Author

Dr Sushruta Mokadam, consultant obstetrician at Motherhood Hospital, Kharadi, Pune. ...Read More

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