Pregnancy

Pre-Pregnancy

Pregnancy Protection and Vaccination before pregnancy

Pregnant women need vaccines. By getting yourself vaccinated you are protecting both you and your baby from getting serious diseases.

  • Influenza (Flu) - Flu illness in pregnancy can be serious with an increased risk of premature labour and low birth weight. Flu vaccination during pregnancy is safe and effective and is strongly recommended for all pregnant women. Flu vaccine is free for pregnant women and also provides protection for your baby in the womb and for up to six months after birth.
  • Whooping Cough (Pertussis) - Whooping cough is an infection that causes serious illness and, in some cases death, in babies who are too young to be vaccinated. The whooping cough vaccine protects you and your newborn from infection and is recommended before pregnancy on in the last three months of pregnancy, if you have not had the vaccine in the last five years.
  • MeaslesMumps and Rubella - If you catch measles, mumps or rubella during pregnancy you could have a miscarriage, premature delivery or your baby could be born with serious birth defects. If you are not protected you should be vaccinated. It is important that you do not become pregnant for 28 days after vaccination.
  • Chickenpox (Varicella) - Chickenpox can cause severe birth defects if you catch it during pregnancy. You should be vaccinated if you are not protected. Following vaccination, you must avoid becoming pregnant for 28 days.
  • Hepatitis B - All pregnant women are tested for hepatitis B infection, as it can pass to their baby during birth.

During Pregnancy

The seasonal influenza vaccine, or “flu shot”, is recommended and funded for pregnant women under the National Immunisation Program. It is can be given at any time during pregnancy.

The flu shot is safe for pregnant women, and provides effective protection for you and your new-born baby for the first six months of their life.

More information about influenza and the influenza vaccine is available on the Influenza page of this website.

The adult dTpa (diphtheria-tetanus-acellular pertussis) vaccine is also recommended for pregnant women in their third trimester of pregnancy. This vaccine protects the mother against pertussis (commonly called whopping cough) but also the newborn as the mum passes on her antibodies via the placenta.

Post Pregnancy

After the birth of your baby

It is safe for you to receive routine vaccinations immediately after birth, even if you are breast feeding. You should have the whooping cough vaccine if you have not received it in the last five years or the MMR vaccine if you are not immune to measles or rubella.

Your baby’s first vaccination, hepatitis B, is recommended just after birth and the next scheduled vaccinations are due when your baby is six – eight weeks of age.