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Vaccinations during pregnancy is a topic that arouses lively discussions among future mothers. Most women get vaccinated before conception. However, there are times when you need to make a decision during pregnancy. Unfortunately, not all vaccinations are recommended for pregnant women, some are even prohibited. Which vaccines can be taken during pregnancy and breastfeeding and which are not. Which vaccinations are recommended for women planning a pregnancy?

Vaccinations in pregnancyis a topic that arouses lively discussions among future mothers. Meanwhile, pregnancy is not an absolute contraindication to vaccination. After vaccination in pregnant women, the concentration of antibodies increases, which can be passed on to the baby in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy and provide protection in the first months of life. Unfortunately, some vaccinations can be harmful to developing children, so some cannot be done during pregnancy.

Permitted vaccinations in pregnancy

During pregnancy, vaccinations against the three diseases can be given. Each of them should be discussed with the gynecologist.

  • Flu vaccination

Influenza in pregnant women can be difficult, cause hospitalization and death. Miscarriages, preterm births and congenital infections have been reported in newborns. Pregnant women who are at increased risk of influenza complications should be vaccinated regardless of their stage of pregnancy .²

Inactivated influenza vaccines contain split virions or hemagglutinin and neuraminidase - surface antigens of influenza viruses (subunit). Typically, doctors recommend flu vaccination from the second trimester of pregnancy to avoid possible association of spontaneous abortions with first-trimester use of the vaccine .²

A pregnant woman can use it in the period of increased viral activity (in autumn and winter), especially if she belongs to the group of increased risk, e.g. she has weakened immunity due to chronic diseases (asthma, diabetes). An indication for this vaccination may also be work involving contact with many people.

There are also no contraindications for vaccinating mothers who breastfeed their babies.

As recommended by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) at the Centers for Disease Control andPrevention and the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (ACOG), pregnant women should be vaccinated if a safe vaccine is available and there is a risk of exposing the woman to a disease that threatens her and / or her baby.

  • Vaccination against hepatitis B

There are no ingredients in the vaccine that could harm your baby's development - the vaccine does not contain live viruses, only the purified surface antigen (HBsAg) of the hepatitis B virus. Therefore, if you did not get vaccinated before conception, you can consider this now, especially if your pregnancy is a high-risk pregnancy and you expect termination by caesarean section. Vaccination usually starts in the second trimester of pregnancy.

This is an important vaccination for pregnant women, as the hepatitis B virus is transmitted through the bloodstream, it can be infected, for example, during an episiotomy. Warning! The vaccine requires three doses over 6 months.

  • Whooping cough vaccination

Vaccination of pregnant women against whooping cough is recommended when there is a high risk of contracting this disease. When a woman who is currently pregnant, has not had whooping cough before pregnancy or has not been recently vaccinated against this disease, and the epidemiological situation is unfavorable - vaccination of a pregnant woman will also protect the child until immunization. The most severe course of whooping cough (or whooping cough) in the population of the youngest children may result in permanent neurological complications and even death.

Vaccinations against whooping cough, as well as diphtheria and tetanus - dTpa - are recommended for women between 27 and 34 weeks of pregnancy (all pregnancies, regardless of previous dTpa vaccinations). This is to protect the newborn and infant by increasing the concentration of maternal antibodies.

According to an expertKrzysztof Maj, MD, PhD, obstetrician gynecologist

The less the better

The principle that applies to pregnant women is to vaccinate as little as possible, but as much as necessary. Therefore, there are no recommended vaccinations during pregnancy. I also advise my patients not to travel to countries in Africa and South America. or Asia, which are at risk of tropical diseases - vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy. However, exceptional situations can always happen. If there is no other option, there is an epidemic raging around or you cannot avoid going to a country where the disease is endemic (only in this area), the use of vaccines not recommended during pregnancy (e.g.against tuberculosis, meningococcus, typhoid fever, yellow fever) considering the potential benefits and possible risks.


NOT RECOMMENDED Vaccines during pregnancy

Vaccination with live vaccines is not recommended during pregnancy as there is a theoretical risk of transmission of the vaccine microorganism to the fetus. During pregnancy, you should not be vaccinated against the following infectious diseases:

  • odrze
  • piggy
  • rubella
  • chickenpox
  • tuberculosis

The most important thing for a woman expecting a baby is that she should be immune to rubella (if she gets sick with it during pregnancy, the baby is at risk of developmental defects). Therefore, women born before 1973 - since this year vaccination against rubella is mandatory - should have a blood test for the presence of antibodies against this disease if they did not have it in childhood. Their presence means they are immunized. In the absence of antibodies, rubella vaccination is required, but note: it must be taken at least 3 months before conception. You will get resistance to rubella in a month.

Vaccinations recommended for women planning a pregnancy

Bacterial and viral infections that occur in a pregnant woman can be dangerous for her, as well as for the fetus or newborn. Before becoming pregnant, make sure you have had two doses of vaccines against:

  • odrze
  • piggy
  • rubella
  • chickenpox
  • hepatitis B (hepatitis B)
  • whooping cough (booster dose of dTap vaccine)
  • flu

If you have not been vaccinated, please inform your doctor.

Worth knowing

Three groups of vaccines

Vaccines are divided by specialists into three groups depending on their composition. The first includes those containing bacteria or viruses that are dead, inactive or unable to reproduce. To the second - those with bacteria and viruses with reduced activity, and to the third - with toxins and polysaccharides of the bacterial envelope. According to the scientists, there are basically no obstacles when it comes to the use of group one vaccines during pregnancy, while all the others are contraindicated or unnecessary at that time.

Vaccinations for breastfeeding women

During breastfeeding, inactivated vaccines can be administered against:

  • Hepatitis A
  • hepatitis B
  • flu
  • diphtheria
  • tetanus
  • pertussis
  • meningokokom
  • pneumokokom
Worth knowing

Vaccinations against rabies, TBE and tropical diseases and pregnancy²

  • rabies - pregnancy should not be considered a contraindication to vaccination when exposed to rabies viruses. If the exposure to rabies is very serious, pre-exposure vaccinations can also be used during pregnancy
  • tick-borne encephalitis - not recommended for pregnant women except in high-risk areas
  • typhoid - it is not recommended to vaccinate during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • yellow fever - the vaccine contains live, attenuated yellow fever viruses. The safety of this vaccine in pregnant women has not been established. The vaccine should only be given before traveling to endemic areas of yellow fever, if travel is necessary
  • Japanese encephalitis - It is not recommended to use the vaccine routinely during pregnancy. When a pregnant woman needs to travel to a country with a high risk of infection, vaccination may be considered




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