The pandemic has been challenging for people of all age groups, including expecting mothers. While pregnancy can be a beautiful time for a woman, it can also become challenging, especially with the sudden surge of diseases. It is important to pay attention to maternal immunization as it increases the benefits for both mother and child. Pregnancy vaccinations can directly protect the mother from diseases that can be avoided, hence protecting the developing fetus.
As newborn babies have a weaker immunity system, there is a higher risk of developing infectious diseases that can even become fatal for them. Hence, there are certain vaccinations that every woman should take during pregnancy which are not only safe for the baby but also protect them from flu for several months after birth. These include:
A COVID-19 immunization is suggested for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Getting a COVID-19 vaccine can protect the mother from serious COVID-19 sickness. Vaccination can also aid in the development of antibodies in pregnant women, which may protect their unborn offspring.
Flu (influenza) vaccination
The flu shot is prescribed for pregnant women when there is a rise in flu, especially during certain seasons. These shots are made from an inactivated virus that are safe for both mother and child. However, it is recommended not to take the influenza nasal spray measles, mumps, rubella, and varicella vaccines as they contain live viruses. Instead, these are recommended before pregnancy or during their childbearing age.
Hepatitis B vaccine
Inflammation of the liver is brought on by the deadly infection known as hepatitis B. A pregnant woman with hepatitis B infection bears the risk of having a premature baby and suffering from significant morbidity. Due to the safety and high efficacy of Hepatitis B vaccine, it is recommended to be given to pregnant women who are at a risk for HBV infection.
Tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid & acellular pertussis vaccine should be given to every pregnant woman (27 to 36 weeks ) irrespective of prior history of vaccination.
Hepatitis A vaccine
Infection with the hepatitis A virus has also been linked to gestational problems during pregnancy. These include increased preterm labour, placental abruption, and preterm membrane rupture. Pregnant women who are at risk of developing hepatitis A are advised to get the hepatitis A vaccine.
Vaccination during pregnancy is an important step to improve pregnancy outcomes. It is also important to consult a doctor before opting for any vaccination during pregnancy as they can guide the family better. Furthermore, administering vaccines at the appropriate time can assist society by avoiding the spread of infectious diseases. At the same time, women must also pay special attention to their health and have a healthy lifestyle. Including the right amount of nutrients in the daily diet and exercise also helps in improving the overall wellbeing of the child.
(The author is Dr. Balaji Nalwad, Consultant and HOD, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Manipal Hospital, Baner, Pune)
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the views of India TV)
Don’t miss these: