Vaccines During and After Pregnancy
A pregnant person should get vaccinated against:
- Whooping cough: During each pregnancy
- Flu: If you are pregnant during flu season
- COVID-19: If you are pregnant and not up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine
- Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV): If you are 32 through 36 weeks pregnant during September to January, or your baby aged 8 months or younger can get RSV immunization during their first RSV season
Protect mom and baby with vaccines
A baby gets disease immunity (protection) from mom during pregnancy. This immunity can protect baby from some diseases during the first few months of life, but immunity decreases over time.
Vaccines before or during pregnancy prevent severe illness
Getting recommended vaccines before or while you are pregnant helps protect both you and your baby from potentially serious diseases that can make you and your baby very sick.
Whooping cough, known as pertussis, can be serious for anyone, but for a newborn, it can be life-threatening.
- About 7 in 10 deaths from whooping cough are among babies younger than 2 months old. These babies are too young to receive a whooping cough vaccine. The younger the baby is when they get whooping cough, the more likely they will need to be treated in a hospital.
- It may be hard to know if a baby has whooping cough because many babies with this disease don’t cough at all. Instead, it can cause them to stop breathing and turn blue.
When a pregnant person gets a whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy, her body will create protective antibodies and pass some of them to the baby before birth. These antibodies will provide the baby some short-term, early protection against whooping cough. CDC recommends getting a whooping cough vaccine during the 27th through 36th week of each pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period.
Pregnant people are more likely to have severe illness from flu, possibly due to changes in immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy.
Make sure to receive your yearly flu vaccine —it’s the best way for a pregnant woman to protect against the flu and protect the baby for several months after birth from flu-related complications.
CDC recommends getting a flu vaccine by the end of October despite flu seasons varying in their timing from season to season. This timing helps protect a pregnant woman before flu activity begins to increase.
There are two ways to protect your baby from getting very sick with RSV. You can choose to get RSV vaccine during weeks 32 through 36 of your pregnancy during September to January, or your baby aged 8 months or younger can get RSV immunization during their first RSV season. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider.
CDC recommends COVID-19 vaccination for everyone aged 6 months and older. Pregnant people are more likely to get severely ill with COVID-19 compared with non-pregnant people. If you are pregnant, you should stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccine. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine during pregnancy can protect you and your baby from severe illness from COVID-19. If you have questions about getting vaccinated, talk to your healthcare provider.
Some people may need other vaccines before, during, or after they become pregnant. For example:
- Hepatitis B: A baby whose mother has hepatitis B is at highest risk for becoming infected with hepatitis B during delivery. Moms, talk to your healthcare professional about getting tested for hepatitis B and whether or not you should get vaccinated.
- Hepatitis A: For pregnant women who have a history of chronic liver disease, doctors or healthcare professionals may recommend the hepatitis A vaccine.
- Vaccines for travel: Pregnant people planning international travel should talk to their doctor or healthcare professional at least 4 to 6 weeks before their trip to discuss any special precautions or necessary vaccines. See Traveler’s Health for additional tips on how to prepare to travel safely.
Healthcare professionals may recommend some people receive certain vaccines right after giving birth. Postpartum vaccination will help protect moms from getting sick, and they will pass some antibodies to the baby through breastmilk if they are able to breastfeed. Vaccination after pregnancy is especially important if moms did not receive certain vaccines before or during pregnancy.
However, moms will not get protective antibodies immediately if they wait to get vaccinated until after birth. This is because it takes about 2 weeks after getting vaccinated before the body develops antibodies.
The baby will also start to get his or her own vaccines to protect against serious childhood diseases.