What Vaccines Do You Need Before and During Pregnancy?

What Vaccines Should You Get Pre-Pregnancy?

Certain preventable infections can be harmful during pregnancy. That's why you should ask for a blood test during a pre-pregnancy checkup to find out if you're immune to these diseases. If you're not, you should get vaccinated before becoming pregnant. Just be sure to postpone pregnancy for one month because these shots are made from live viruses that can harm your baby.

Rubella vaccine Also called German measles, the rubella virus presents flu-like symptoms often followed by a rash. It can be harmful during pregnancy: Up to 85 percent of babies of moms who contract it during the first trimester develop serious birth defects, such as hearing loss and mental retardation.

Chickenpox vaccine An extremely contagious disease, chickenpox causes fever and an uncomfortable, itchy rash. About 2 percent of babies of women who develop chickenpox during the first five months of pregnancy have birth defects, including malformed and paralyzed limbs. What's more, a woman who develops chickenpox around the time of delivery can also pass a life-threatening form of the infection to her baby.

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