So many things to consider and prepare for in planning your little one’s arrival, don’t forget one of the most important things you can do to help protect your child’s health…vaccines.
While there are some vaccines that are contraindicated during pregnancy, two that are proven safe and recommended during your pregnancy are the vaccines against Influenza and Pertussis (Whooping Cough). This applies for pregnant women and their families. Infants cannot begin the series of immunizations for Pertussis until 2 months of age and are not candidates for the Influenza vaccine until 6 months of age, so how do you best protect them from these diseases? The answer is not simply by keeping them home, because while you try to keep illness out of your home, the fact is that school age siblings and family members who work still come in contact with exposures and while they may not manifest many symptoms of the illness, your little one is at higher risk for manifesting the worst possible symptoms given their age.
Influenza can cause serious complications such as pneumonia which can be fatal in young infants or at least cost them a hospitalization; and “estimates from WHO [World Health Organization] suggest that about 16 million cases of pertussis occurred worldwide, 95% of which were in developing countries, and that about 195 000 children died from the disease.”
The most effective way to prevent your young infant against getting these diseases is to get vaccinated yourself and encourage family members to do the same. Until your child is old enough to receive the vaccines themself, it’s our responsibility as parents to make sure we do what we can to help protect our little one.
For more information regarding vaccinations during pregnancy, the links listed below are good resources:
We’d also love to discuss this and any other questions you may have during a prenatal visit with us. Planning your child’s arrival can be exciting, but overwhelming, so let us help you make sure you have the information you need to make the best decisions for your loved one.