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 six 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 six 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.
The seasonal influenza vaccine, or “flu shot”, is recommended and funded for pregnant women under the National Immunisation Program. It is can be given at any time during pregnancy.
The flu shot is safe for pregnant women, and provides effective protection for you and your new-born baby for the first six months of their life.
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 free for pregnant women as part of state and territory immunisation programs.
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.