What Other Vaccines Should You Consider Before or During Pregnancy?
Your job or lifestyle can make you more susceptible to specific illnesses, as can certain chronic health conditions, such as diabetes. If you fall into one of these categories, your doctor may recommend additional vaccinations before or during pregnancy.
Hepatitis B vaccine It's safe to get this shot when you're pregnant, and if you're a healthcare worker or you live with someone who has the disease, consider vaccination.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that causes liver inflammation, nausea, fatigue, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes). In some cases, it can cause chronic liver disease, liver cancer, and death. A pregnant woman with hepatitis B can pass the infection to her baby during delivery, and without prompt treatment, the baby has a high risk of contracting serious liver diseases as an adult.
The CDC recommends that all pregnant women be screened for hepatitis B because it's possible to have it without knowing.
Hepatitis A vaccine This vaccine protects against a liver disease that spreads through contaminated food or water. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, and nausea. It isn't usually as serious as the B version of the disease, and the illness won't affect an unborn baby most of the time. In rare cases, hepatitis A may contribute to premature labor and infection in the newborn.
The safety of this vaccine has yet to be determined, but because it's produced from dead viruses, the risks are likely low. If you're traveling to a developing country or if you work with the virus in a laboratory setting, you should discuss vaccination with your doctor.
Pneumococcal vaccine If you have a specific chronic condition, such as diabetes or kidney disease, your doctor may recommend the pneumococcal vaccine, which protects against some forms of pneumonia. Although potential harm to an unborn baby is unknown, researchers believe that the risk is low.