Vaccinations to receive before pregnancy

By: Women's Care Florida Staff

Before you make plans to become pregnant, it’s important that you speak to your OB-GYN about vaccinations that can help protect you and your baby from certain infections during pregnancy. Make sure your vaccinations are up to date before you become pregnant, and consult with your doctor before getting vaccinated to confirm the vaccines are safe for you and your baby.

Here’s a list of vaccinations you should receive before you become pregnant, according to the CDC.

Flu vaccine

The ideal time to get the flu vaccine is once per year between October and May before flu season begins. At present, there are two types of flu vaccines: the flu shot, and a flu nasal spray. Both vaccines are safe to get before you become pregnant, but wait at least one month before conceiving if you opt for the flu nasal spray. Women who get the flu during pregnancy are often at higher risk for major complications such as pneumonia, but flu vaccine can help lower your risk for getting the disease.

HPV vaccine

This vaccine helps protect you from getting HPV, which can cause genital warts and eventually lead to cervical cancer and cancers of the vulva and vagina. The HPV vaccine is mainly recommended for women aged 26 and under.

MMR vaccine

The MMR vaccine protects you against measles, mumps, and rubella, and lowers your risk for miscarriage, premature birth, and stillbirth should you develop any of these diseases while you’re pregnant. Rubella can also cause congenital rubella syndrome in your baby, which can lead to birth defects such as vision problems, hearing problems, and heart defects.

Varicella vaccine

This vaccine protects you from chickenpox, which can be dangerous for your unborn baby and increase the risk for birth defects. If you’ve never had chickenpox, or haven’t been vaccinated for the disease, inform your OB-GYN immediately so you can receive the varicella vaccine.

Vaccines to avoid during pregnancy

If you find out you’re already pregnant before you get the recommended vaccines, inform your OB-GYN, since some vaccines are not safe to receive during pregnancy. If you’ve received any of the below vaccines, wait at least one month before becoming pregnant.

Vaccines that are not safe during pregnancy are:

  • MMR
  • Varicella
  • Flu mist / flu nasal spray
  • BCG
  • Meningococcal
  • Typhoid

Getting caught up on recommended vaccines can help protect you and your baby throughout pregnancy and beyond. Don’t put off getting vaccinated; see your OB-GYN to find out which vaccines you need.

Women’s Care Florida can provide immunizations at the time of your scheduled appointment or annual exam. Schedule an appointment with WCF today to receive the latest recommended vaccines, and to get your questions about immunizations answered by an experienced, board-certified OB-GYN.