All women who will be pregnant during flu season should get the influenza virus vaccine.
This is a killed virus vaccine that is safe during pregnancy and does not cause birth defects. Women who contract the flu in pregnancy are more likely to have severe complications, ICU admission and even death as at the result of flu.
There is a thimerosol free version of the flu vaccine which can be given (to avoid the small amount of mercury that can be present in the vaccine as a preservative) however, mercury exposure is cumulative, and the ACOG recommence flu vaccine for all pregnant women, even if only the vaccine containing thimerosol is available.
Tdap should also be given in pregnancy. It is the whooping cough vaccine, and also protects against tetanus and diptheria, as well as pertussis (whooping cough) It can be given at any time during the pregnancy, but is usually given between 28-32 weeks of gestation. It is also a killed virus vaccine and is safe in pregnancy.
Anyone who will be around the baby including caretakers, father, siblings and grandparents should also get the flu and pertussis vaccine.
THINKING ABOUT GETTING PREGNANT OR HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT VACCINES IN PREGNANCY?
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