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Vaccinations Before Pregnancy: Which Vaccines Should You Get?

Medically reviewed by Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS · Obstetrics and Gynecology

Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 19, 2022

    Vaccinations Before Pregnancy: Which Vaccines Should You Get?

    It’s normal for women wishing to get pregnant to start getting into shape, and shift to a healthier lifestyle. In fact, some even take prenatal vitamins so they get the nutrition they need for a healthy pregnancy. But did you know that it’s also important to get the necessary vaccinations before pregnancy?

    Which vaccinations should you be getting? And is it possible to get vaccinated during pregnancy? Find out the answers to these questions, and more.

    Vaccinations before pregnancy

    Why You Should Get Vaccinated

    Immune system boost

    First off, why is it important for women to get vaccines before getting pregnant1? One of the reasons why vaccines before pregnancy are necessary is because the immune system becomes weaker when a woman is pregnant.

    This means that a pregnant woman can be more prone to illnesses such as the flu or even COVID-19. So it is important to get vaccinated so she and her baby can stay healthy. This helps ensure that she will have a safe and healthy pregnancy, and the baby will also be born healthy and free from complications.

    Protection for the baby

    accines also help protect the unborn baby from certain infections. For example, if a mother has received a vaccine against measles, once she gives birth, her baby is protected against measles. Though, the protection only lasts anywhere from three months to about a year. Even if the protection doesn’t last a long time, a baby’s first year is very important.

    Another important thing to remember is to keep track of any vaccinations you’ve already had. If you’re not sure, try asking your parents or relatives if they remember which vaccines you’ve already had. This is because some vaccines that were given to you when you were younger can still provide immunity up to adulthood.

    Not all vaccines can be taken when pregnant

    Lastly, the reason why getting vaccines before pregnancy is important is that there are vaccines that should not be taken while pregnant. These might cause some side effects, or affect the baby’s development if a woman gets them while she’s pregnant. So in the case of these vaccines, getting them before pregnancy is ideal.

    Important Vaccinations Before Pregnancy

    Now that we’ve established why vaccinations before pregnancy are important, which vaccines should mothers get? Here are some important vaccines to take2:

    MMR Vaccine

    The MMR vaccine protects mothers and babies from measles, mumps, and rubella. Most children were vaccinated with this while they were young and it protects a person for life. However, it’s still a good idea to double-check.

    IMPORTANT: Women are advised NOT to get pregnant for at least one month after receiving MMR vaccine.

    Flu Vaccine

    Another important vaccination before pregnancy is the flu vaccine. This vaccine is reformulated each year, since flu strains change yearly. So it’s a good idea to take this before trying to conceive, so that you are protected from the flu while you’re pregnant.

    Doctors also give the flu vaccine during pregnancy.

    Hepatitis A and B Vaccine

    Hepatitis A and B vaccines are also recommended during pregnancy. You may also get these vaccines while you’re pregnant. But it might be easier to do it beforehand just to make sure there are no side effects. Be sure to consult your doctor first before getting this vaccine.

    Varicella or Chickenpox Vaccine

    Chickenpox can harm both a pregnant mother, as well as the fetus. So it’s important to get the vaccine for chickenpox before you try and get pregnant. Ideally, you should get this about 4 weeks before you conceive. Though you can get it earlier than that.

    HPV Vaccine

    Included in the list of vaccinations before pregnancy, the HPV vaccine protects mothers against HPV, and lowers their risk of cervical cancer.

    COVID-19 Vaccine

    Lastly, as part of vaccinations before pregnancy, because of the pandemic, it’s very important to get the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as you are able. This helps increase your resistance against the virus, and protects both you and your baby.

    Key Takeaways

    When it comes to vaccinations before pregnancy, it’s important to always discuss things with your doctor first. They can give you advice on which vaccines to take, and when to schedule these vaccines so that you don’t experience any serious side effects.

    Learn more about Preparing to Get Pregnant here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Ann Guevarra MD, OB-GYN Diplomate, POGS

    Obstetrics and Gynecology

    Written by Jan Alwyn Batara · Updated Jul 19, 2022

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