Friday, July 27, 2012

Which vaccines can I receive while I am pregnant?

Are some vaccines recommended while a women is pregnant?
The following vaccines are considered safe to give to women who might be at risk of infection:

Hepatitis B — Pregnant women who are at high risk for this disease and have tested negative for the virus can receive this vaccine. It is used to protect the mother and baby against infection both before and after delivery.
Influenza — This vaccine can prevent serious illness in the mother during pregnancy. You can receive the vaccine at any stage of your pregnancy.
Tetanus/Diphtheria — This combination of vaccines is routinely recommended for pregnant women, both those who have never been immunized and those who have not received a booster in 10 years. We usually only give this in pregnancy when there has been trauma. If it has been more than 2 years since the last dT, you will be offered dTaP after pregnancy.

My comments: These vaccines are not only safe, but are being recommended more & more in the West due to the protection they offer to mother & the baby. Recent studies have shown that even in developing countires (like Bangladesh) use of vaccines (like the Influenza vaccine) have lead to an increased birth weight for the babies, probably due to decreased infections in mothers. I would encourage obstetricians to change their attitude and use more of these vaccinations to improve maternal and infant health. Nowadays, more International societies are recommending TdaP vaccination (in place of the standard TT or Td) during pregnancy to reduce the risk of babies catching pertussis (kaali khaansi) before they get the first dose of DPT vaccination at 1.5 months.

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