Tdap (Pertussis) Vaccine and Pregnancy

During pregnancy there are many steps you can take to protect the health of your growing baby as well as your own health. One of the vaccines that your healthcare provider may recommend you receive during your pregnancy is the Tdap vaccine, which helps prevent your little one from getting several serious diseases.

Find out what the Tdap vaccine is, when to get the vaccination, and what the benefits are.

What Is Tdap?

Tdap stands for the tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis vaccine. This combination vaccine protects you against three diseases:

  • Tetanus (lockjaw)

  • Diphtheria

  • Pertussis (whooping cough).

How Long Does the Tdap Vaccine Last?

The vaccination needs to be repeated every 10 years. Adults can get the Tdap vaccine at any time; however, pregnant women are usually advised to be immunized at a specific time during their pregnancy so that the vaccine can also protect their newborn against pertussis.

How Do You Get the Tdap Vaccine?

During one of your prenatal care visits, such as when you’re 7 months pregnant, your healthcare provider may recommend and schedule a Tdap vaccination for you. If your healthcare provider hasn’t mentioned the vaccine, ask about it at your next checkup.

Who Needs to Get the Tdap Vaccine?

Adults, adolescents, healthcare professionals, and pregnant women can all benefit from the Tdap vaccine. Anyone who is in close contact with your baby while she is younger than 12 months should also be vaccinated.

Why Is the Tdap Vaccine Given During Pregnancy?

The Tdap vaccine is given during your pregnancy because it can help protect your baby against pertussis after birth. Once you receive the vaccine, your body produces high levels of pertussis antibodies, which you pass onto your baby, protecting him from contracting whooping cough from the point he is born until he is able to get his shots.

The earliest your baby can be vaccinated is at 2 months of age.

Read up on your baby’s immunization schedule here.

Is the Tdap Vaccine Safe to Get During Pregnancy?

Yes. The Tdap vaccine is made from inactive bacteria, and it is safe to get during your pregnancy.

According to experts, there is no danger or risk of pregnancy complications associated with the Tdap vaccine.

When Should You Get the Tdap Vaccine?

The vaccine can be given at any time during your pregnancy; however, the ideal time to get the Tdap vaccine is between 27 and 36 weeks of your pregnancy.

This is because it takes about two weeks for your body to develop the antibodies, so getting the vaccine during your third trimester ensures the antibodies can be passed onto your baby before her birth.

If you’re unable to get the Tdap vaccine during your pregnancy, check with your healthcare provider to make sure you can get it just after you’ve given birth, before you’ve left the hospital.

It’s also recommended that you get the Tdap vaccine with every pregnancy, as the effects of the vaccine on the baby do not last from one pregnancy to another.

Should All Close Family Members Get the Tdap Vaccine?

Yes, because your baby is more likely to contract pertussis from someone who hasn’t been vaccinated. Everyone who will come into contact with your baby until he turns 1 year old should have gotten the Tdap vaccine within the past 10 years or at least 2 weeks before meeting your little one.

Getting the Tdap vaccine can help prevent you from getting tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis as well as protect your little one from contracting pertussis (whooping cough) in the first two months after being born. It’s a simple step that can help protect your little one until he can get his own set of vaccinations in due course.

Speaking of simple steps with high returns, did you know that you could be earning rewards for all the diapers your newborn will be going through? Download the Pampers Club app to get rewards like coupons, gifts, and cash back. How we wrote this article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources, such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.

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