Houston health department

Pregnancy and Vaccination



Vaccines help protect you and your baby against serious diseases. When you are pregnant, you share everything with your baby. That means when you get vaccines, you aren't just protecting yourself, you are giving your baby some early protection too. CDC recommends you get a whooping cough and flu vaccine during each pregnancy to help protect yourself and your baby.
Whooping Cough

Whooping cough (Pertussis): Whooping cough can be serious for anyone, but for your newborn, it can be life-threatening. Up to 20 babies die each year in the United States due to whooping cough. About half of babies younger than 1 year old who get whooping cough need treatment in the hospital. The younger the baby is when he or she gets whooping cough, the more likely he or she will need to be treated in a hospital. It may be hard for you to know if your baby has whooping cough because many babies with this disease don't cough at all. Instead, it can cause them to stop breathing and turn blue. When you get the whooping cough vaccine during your pregnancy, your body will create protective antibodies and pass some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies will provide your baby some short-term, early protection against whooping cough. Learn more by visiting CDC's Pregnancy and Whooping Cough website.


Influenza (Flu)
Changes in your immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make you more likely to get seriously ill from the flu. Catching the flu also increases your chances for serious problems for your developing baby, including premature labor and delivery. Get the flu shot if you are pregnant during flu season. This is the best way to protect yourself and your baby for several months after birth from flu-related complications. Flu seasons vary in their timing from season to season, but CDC recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October, if possible. This timing helps protect you before flu activity begins to increase. Visit CDC's Pregnant Women & Influenza (Flu) website for more information.

Hepatitis B: A baby whose mother has hepatitis B is at highest risk for becoming infected with hepatitis B during delivery. Talk to your healthcare professional about getting testing for hepatitis B and whether or not you should get vaccinated. For more information, visit CDC's answers to frequently asked questions on Pregnancy and Hepatitis B.


Additional Vaccines: Some women may need other vaccines before, during, or after they become pregnant. For example, if you have a history of chronic liver disease, your doctor may recommend the hepatitis A vaccine. If you work in a lab, or if you are traveling to a country where you may be exposed to meningococcal disease, your doctor may recommend the meningococcal vaccine. If you are pregnant and are planning international travel, you should talk to your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to discuss any special precautions or vaccines that you may need.

For more information on Pregnancy and Vaccinations, visit the CDC's Pregnancy and Vaccination website.


Additional Vaccines: Some women may need other vaccines before, during, or after they become pregnant. For example, if you have a history of chronic liver disease, your doctor may recommend the hepatitis A vaccine. If you work in a lab, or if you are traveling to a country where you may be exposed to meningococcal disease, your doctor may recommend the meningococcal vaccine. If you are pregnant and are planning international travel, you should talk to your doctor at least 4 to 6 weeks before your trip to discuss any special precautions or vaccines that you may need.

For more information on Pregnancy and Vaccinations, visit the CDC's Pregnancy and Vaccination website.