Which Shots Do You Need When You’re Pregnant?

Sophie Ramsey | Nov 1st 2017

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When is the best time to start thinking about getting vaccinations for a healthy pregnancy?
  1. 0 In your first trimester
  2. 0 In your second trimester
  3. 1 Before you become pregnant
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The correct answer is 3. If possible, make sure you are current on all your recommended vaccines before you become pregnant. Two that are particularly important are the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and chickenpox (varicella) vaccines, as these infections can be particularly harmful during pregnancy. Many women will have already had these vaccines as children. Or, in the case of chickenpox, they may have already had the infection and be immune. If you do need these vaccines, you should get them at least a month before becoming pregnant.

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  1. When is the best time to start thinking about getting vaccinations for a healthy pregnancy?

    Correct Answer: Before you become pregnant

    The correct answer is 3. If possible, make sure you are current on all your recommended vaccines before you become pregnant. Two that are particularly important are the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and chickenpox (varicella) vaccines, as these infections can be particularly harmful during pregnancy. Many women will have already had these vaccines as children. Or, in the case of chickenpox, they may have already had the infection and be immune. If you do need these vaccines, you should get them at least a month before becoming pregnant.

  2. Once you are pregnant, which vaccines do doctors recommend getting?

    Correct Answer: The Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, acellular pertussis) vaccine and the flu shot

    The correct answer is 1. Getting these vaccines during pregnancy provides important protection against infection. The vaccines are safe for you and your developing baby.

  3. Getting the Tdap vaccine and flu shot during pregnancy:

    Correct Answer: Both

    The correct answer is 3. Vaccines protect us from serious illness. They do this by stimulating our immune system to make antibodies that fight off certain infections. When you get the Tdap and flu vaccines during pregnancy, the antibodies your body makes are also shared with your developing baby. This means the vaccines do double duty: They protect you from infection while you are pregnant (and after) and also give your baby early protection once he or she is born.

  4. You had the Tdap vaccine and flu shot during your first pregnancy. You are now pregnant with your second baby. Do you need to get these shots again?

    Correct Answer: Yes

    The correct answer is 1. Getting these vaccines during every pregnancymaximizes the infection-fighting antibodies that you pass on to your baby. Also, a new flu vaccine becomes available each year, based on what strains of the flu virus are expected to be most common that flu season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all adults and children over 6 months old — including pregnant women — get a new flu shot every year.

  5. The Tdap vaccine provides protection against three infections: tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Protection against which of these is particularly important for newborns?

    Correct Answer: Acellular pertussis (whooping cough)

    The correct answer is 3. Whooping cough can be a life-threatening infection in babies, with up to 20 infants dying of the illness each year in the U.S. and many more needing hospital treatment. Babies can't start getting their own vaccinations against whooping cough until they are 2 months old. By getting the Tdap vaccine while you are pregnant, you help fill this gap in protection.

  6. The timing of the Tdap vaccine during pregnancy is important. When do doctors recommend getting this shot?

    Correct Answer: During weeks 27 to 36 (in the third trimester)

    The correct answer is 3. To pass the greatest number of protective antibodies to your baby, experts recommend getting the Tdap vaccine during the 27th to 36th week of pregnancy — and preferably in the earlier part of this period.

  7. The flu shot is especially important during pregnancy because:

    Correct Answer: Both

    The correct answer is 3. Having the flu can make you seriously ill, particularly when you are pregnant. It can also increase the chance of problems for your developing baby, including premature labor and birth. A new flu shot becomes available before the start of each flu season. Experts recommend getting it by the end of October for the most benefit.

  8. You had your annual flu shot in October, and you became pregnant a month later. Do you need to get another flu shot now that you are expecting?

    Correct Answer: No

    The correct answer is 2. If you got the current flu shot before you became pregnant, you do not need to get the shot again.

  9. You are planning to go on an international trip while you are pregnant. Will you need additional vaccines?

    Correct Answer: Possibly, depending on where you are going

    The correct answer is 3. If you are traveling to a country where certain infections are more common, you may need to get additional vaccines. Be sure to check with your doctor about any extra vaccines you may need at least four to six weeks before you leave.

  10. Some vaccines — including the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) and chickenpox vaccines — are not considered safe during pregnancy. If you need one or both of these vaccines, how soon after giving birth can you get them?

    Correct Answer: Right after giving birth

    The correct answer is 1. If you need the MMR or chickenpox vaccine, you can safely get them right after you have given birth. It is fine to breastfeed after having these vaccines. In fact, some of the protective antibodies you develop from the vaccines will pass to your baby in your breast milk, giving him or her early protection.