During your pre-pregnancy screening, your obstetrician will check if you are up to date with your vaccinations. If you are not, you are strongly advised to get vaccinated as contracting these vaccine-preventable diseases can have an adverse effect on you and your baby.
These pre-pregnancy vaccines are:
However, these vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy and should be given before or after delivery.
The Ministry of Health (MOH), Singapore, follows the international guidelines with regards to two vaccines that are recommended for pregnant women: the influenza vaccine and pertussis vaccine.
Pregnant women are more prone to severe illnesses as their immune systems are weakened to accommodate the pregnancy. This can result in an increased risk of morbidity and mortality from the disease. However, vaccines can help protect you and your baby against serious illness.
Influenza and pertussis are highly contagious illnesses that can cause serious complications if you contract them during pregnancy or if your baby contracts them at a very young age before they have a chance to get vaccinated themselves.
Complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, seizures, apnoea, and death, can occur due to these vaccine-preventable illnesses. Fortunately, vaccines given during pregnancy can protect you and provide a passive protection to babies before they are born.
The immunity of pregnant women is weakened in order to accommodate the pregnancy. This makes them not only more vulnerable to infections but also at risk of more severe illness.
Hence, vaccinations for pregnant women are important and have many benefits such as:
As with most vaccinations, you may experience some side effects, such as:
These side effects usually appear soon after the shot, last for 1-2 days, and go away on their own. If they last longer, make an appointment to see your obstetrician to have a quick checkup.
Pregnancy vaccinations (influenza and pertussis vaccines) are safe procedures that have been approved by the MOH Singapore and other government health agencies around the world; very rarely do people experience complications such as an allergic reaction which may result in anaphylaxis shock after the vaccination.
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