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Immunisation for pregnancy

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. The information on this page is a general guide to immunisations for women who are pregnant or planning pregnancy.

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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 (varicella)

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:

Influenza

Influenza can be a serious disease, especially when you are pregnant. If you have influenza 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. The best way to protect your newborn baby against influenza is to get vaccinated during pregnancy. 

The influenza vaccine is free for pregnant women as part of the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

The influenza vaccine is recommended during every pregnancy and at any stage of your pregnancy.  

Further information on why pregnant women should receive the influenza vaccine is available in the Protecting your baby against influenza starts when you're pregnant brochure.

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Read transcript

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Why should you vaccinate against influenza in pregnancy?

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Influenza is not just a cold – it’s a serious disease for pregnant women and their developing babies. Many women don’t realise that during pregnancy there are changes to their immune, heart and lung functions that make them more vulnerable to severe illness from influenza.

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I’m getting vaccinated because I had no idea how serious influenza really is for women during pregnancy.

00:29---> 00:32
The influenza vaccine is safe at any time during pregnancy.

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I’m getting vaccinated to protect myself and my baby.

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Influenza infection in infants can be dangerous. In the worst cases, it can lead to death from serious respiratory problems and pneumonia.

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That’s why getting vaccinated during pregnancy is so important because it passes on protective antibodies to your baby which will protect them in the first few months of life when they are most vulnerable.

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I’m getting vaccinated because influenza is dangerous and I want to make sure my new born baby is protected until they’re old enough to get the influenza vaccination themselves at six months of age.

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I plan to get vaccinated before the peak influenza season to ensure I give it enough time to take effect.

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Vaccination during pregnancy is the best way for pregnant women to protect themselves and their babies from influenza

01:20 ---> 01:23
Ask your doctor, specialist, nurse or midwife today,

01:24 ---> 01:28
or visit health.gov.au/immunisation

Visit the Influenza immunisation service page for information about getting vaccinated against influenza.

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.

Further information on why pregnant women should receive the whooping cough vaccine is available in the Protect your baby from whooping cough brochure.

Watch videos of the Hughes family and the McCaffery family telling their personal stories about losing their babies to whooping cough.

Whooping cough vaccine is provided at no cost for pregnant women through the National Immunisation Program (NIP).

Whooping cough vaccine is recommended as a single dose between 20 and 32 weeks in each pregnancy.

Visit the Whooping cough immunisation services page for information about getting vaccinated against whooping cough.

Last updated: 
15 April 2019

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