The Essential Guide to Vaccines for Pregnant Women [Infographic]

July 2017

Prepare for a healthy pregnancy with these important vaccinations.

Vaccines aren’t just for kids. Women who are planning to get pregnant – and those who are already pregnant – need to be sure that they are protected against certain diseases too. Without the proper vaccinations, you can put yourself and your baby at risk. But which ones are the safest and most important vaccines for pregnant women? First, you have to understand how they work.

Tdap is one of the essential vaccines for pregnant women.

Types of Vaccines

Three different ways of making vaccinations:

  1. Using live virus
  2. Using dead Virus
  3. Using toxoids (or chemically altered proteins)

Pregnant women should not get a vaccine using a live virus (like the Measles, Mumps, and Rubella). Not only can it cause a miscarriage, but it can also cause some serious birth defects. Vaccines made from dead virus or toxoids (like tetanus and the flu shot) are usually safe for pregnant women and are typically recommended.

When Should You Get Vaccinated?

The absolute best time to get caught up on your vaccinations is before you get pregnant. Not only is it safer for your baby, but it also gives your body time to develop the proper antibodies needed to ward off disease. Plus, it will allow you to pass these same antibodies to your baby, protecting him or her from disease in the months following birth.

Of course, not every pregnancy is planned. If you find yourself in need of a vaccine during pregnancy, consult with your doctor about the ones that are safe for you. 

Safe Vaccines for Pregnant Women

So, which vaccinations are recommended to ensure a healthy mom and baby? Most doctors agree that these can be administered while pregnant:

Tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap)

Whooping cough can be very dangerous for a newborn. About half of infants who develop it end up in the hospital. Completely safe to be given during pregnancy, Tdap is one of the most important vaccines a pregnant mom can get. This vaccine is usually administered in the third trimester for each of your pregnancies and will also protect you and your baby from tetanus and diphtheria bacterial infections.


The flu may not seem like a big deal under normal circumstances for a relatively young and healthy woman, but when you add the strains that pregnancy puts on the heart and lungs, even the flu can become a big deal. Pregnant women are at high-risk for complications due to influenza, including preterm birth and maternal death. But here’s another reason for getting that flu shot: it will help to protect your newborn from the infection for several months after he or she is born.

Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B

If you are at risk of developing Hepatitis A or B, your doctor may recommend that you get the vaccine. If your risk level is low, however, this is one you can delay until after your baby is born.

For more about the safety of vaccines for pregnant women or advice on which vaccines you should get, call 920.885.6090 or request an appointment with our women’s health team online today.

This is a public forum, by which BDWH provides general information to patients and prospective patients. You should not post any personal or identifying information on this Blog. The information that appears on this Blog does not constitute medical advice and is not a substitute for a consultation with a Healthcare Professional.

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