(KUTV) Keeping your baby safe and healthy begins during pregnancy. There are actually two immunizations mom should get during pregnancy that will help protect her baby.
First, pregnant women are encouraged to get the Tdap vaccine between 27-36 weeks gestational. Since babies can’t get this vaccine until they’re at least two months old, this helps protect them from pertussis – also known as whooping cough.
“We find that by vaccinating women during pregnancy, immediately after it actually provides some immunity for baby,” says Dr. Jennifer Parker, OBGYN at Sevier Valley Hospital.
A new CDC study shows 78% of whooping cough cases are prevented when mom gets the vaccine during her third trimester.
“The antibodies mom creates are actually passed through the placenta onto the baby to provide some additional protection,” says Dr. Parker.
The other big one mom should get during pregnancy – especially this time of year – is the flu shot.
“During my pregnancy I’ve had to get the flu shot obviously to keep me safe and the baby safe,” says Braelyn Lund.
Pregnant women can get the flu vaccine any time during pregnancy. This is important because if a pregnant woman gets influenza when she’s pregnant, she can become very sick, very quickly. They are trying to grow a baby which makes it harder to compensate as well.
Finally, make sure anyone who plans to interact with baby is also vaccinated. At least two weeks before baby arrives, they should also get the Tdap and flu vaccines.
“We recommend any caregivers, especially parents, dads, grandparents, and any other siblings that are around baby – making sure their vaccines are updated,” says Dr. Parker.
Another way to boost baby’s immune system is with breastfeeding. Antibodies are actually passed from mom to baby that provide some protection as they begin to build their own immune system.