Pregnancy is a time when you need to take extra care of yourself to ensure you and your baby remain healthy.
This includes checking that your vaccinations are up to date to ensure you have the best protection against common infectious diseases.
What do I need to consider while planning a pregnancy?
If you are planning a pregnancy, talk to your doctor, nurse or midwife about your past vaccinations and which vaccinations you might need.
These vaccinations are recommended for women who are planning a pregnancy:
Rubella (German measles)
Rubella infection during pregnancy can cause serious health problems for your baby. If you are not already vaccinated against rubella, you should be vaccinated before you get pregnant.
Visit the Rubella immunisation service page for information on receiving the rubella vaccine.
Chickenpox can be more severe in adults. If you are infected during the early stages of pregnancy it can also cause birth defects. If you are infected near to when your baby is born, it can cause severe infection in your baby.
You should be vaccinated against chickenpox before you get pregnant if:
- you have not had chickenpox disease before, and
- you have not had a chickenpox vaccine before.
Visit the Chickenpox immunisation service page for information on receiving the chickenpox vaccine.
What do I need to consider while pregnant?
If you are pregnant, these vaccinations are recommended:
The flu can be a serious disease, especially when you are pregnant. If you have the flu during pregnancy, you are at much higher risk than other adults of complications and possible hospitalisation. Immunisation not only protects you but also your baby. Babies under 6 months are too young to be vaccinated themselves but are at high risk of serious complications if they catch the virus. When you are vaccinated, your antibodies transfer from you to your developing baby. These antibodies protect your baby for the first 6 months of his or her life.
The flu vaccine is free for pregnant women as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
The flu vaccine is recommended during every pregnancy and at any stage of your pregnancy.
Further information on why pregnant women should receive the flu vaccine is available in the Vaccinate against the flu. Protect your baby too brochure and the What expectant mothers need to know fact sheet.
Voice-over: Pregnant women who receive the influenza vaccine protect both their babies and themselves.
Influenza is far more than a cold. Pregnant women who catch influenza are more than twice as likely to be admitted to hospital than other people. Catching influenza during pregnancy can also lead to premature delivery and even death in very young babies. Pregnant women who are immunised against influenza give their babies over 60 per cent protection in their first months of life.
Brendan Murphy: You can have the influenza vaccine anytime during your pregnancy and at any time of year.
Influenza immunisation in pregnancy is safe. It can be given at any time in pregnancy.
Voice-over: The influenza vaccine is free for pregnant women through the National Immunisation Program.
If you’re pregnant, speak to your doctor, nurse, or midwife today.
Voice-over: Pregnant women are a very high priority group for influenza immunisation.
Influenza immunisation is part of good pregnancy care. Babies whose mothers get an influenza vaccine during pregnancy are protected from the moment of delivery.
Debra Thoms: You should be immunised against influenza each time you fall pregnant no matter what time of year. And it’s never too late to have it. Influenza immunisation in pregnancy is safe and gives over 60% protection to babies in their first months of life.
Voice-over: The influenza vaccine is free for pregnant women through the National Immunisation Program. If you’re pregnant, speak to your doctor, nurse, or midwife today.
Visit the Flu immunisation service page for information about getting vaccinated against the flu.
Whooping cough (pertussis)
Whooping cough is a serious disease for babies, and can be deadly. Vaccinating pregnant women is the best way to protect young babies against whooping cough. When you are vaccinated, your antibodies transfer from you to your developing baby. They receive protection from you when they are too young to be vaccinated themselves.
Whooping cough vaccine is provided at no cost for pregnant women through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).
Whooping cough vaccine is recommended in the third trimester, ideally between weeks 28 and 32 of every pregnancy.
Visit the Whooping cough immunisation services page for information about getting vaccinated against whooping cough.