This is a question that you’re probably asking yourself as you anticipate the arrival of your bundle of joy, whether you call the disease whooping cough or pertussis. Well, the answer is a resounding yes. Yes, you should consider vaccinating yourself to protect your baby from whooping cough or pertussis.
In 2013, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended vaccination against Pertussis (Tdap) during each pregnancy and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists’ (the College) Committee on Obstetric Practice supports these revised recommendations.
There are many reasons to get the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy. For starters, early protection is essential for your baby since he or she can’t get his or her first pertussis vaccination until after his or her first two months.
With that said, it is recommended that you get a pertussis vaccine while pregnant anytime from week 27 through week 36. That timeframe is recommended because about two weeks after vaccination your protective antibodies will be at their strongest.
Upon receiving the whooping cough vaccine, your body will create the protective antibodies that can be passed to your baby to protect him or her for the first two months of their life before they can receive vaccination to protect against Pertussis.
If you don’t get a pertussis vaccine while pregnant, it could put your baby at greater risk of contracting whooping cough. The disease often takes an atypical course in adults and it is frequently misdiagnosed. Pregnant women with pertussis do not usually suffer from serious obstetrical complications. If, however, they are contagious at the time of delivery, they may infect the neonate immediately post partum. Neonates are susceptible to pertussis and may become seriously ill with potentially fatal consequences, including uncontrolled shaking, brain disease and pauses in breathing.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 in 4 babies who get whooping cough will get pneumonia and 1-2 out of 100 will pass away. The CDC also states that about 30-40% of babies contracting pertussis catch it from their mother.
If you are pregnant, we encourage you to speak with your obstetrician or family doctor.
If you live in the area, call us and schedule an appointment with our pediatrician or family doctor to learn more about vaccines to protect you and your baby during pregnancy. If you are already pregnant and are at the week 27-36 mark, you can make a FAST TRACK urgent care appointment, a better urgent care for mommies and babies. We will gladly assist you.Now you know about pertussis and babies, pass it on!