Important pre-pregnancy vaccinations

When you’ve made the decision to start a family, you want to be sure you and your body are in tip-top condition. Besides your overall general health, there are some pre-pregnancy vaccinations which can be considered.

It’s a good idea to get yourself screened for a host of illnesses, like Rubella, Chicken Pox and Hepatitis B, as they can be easily prevented. Here’s some more information you should know about important pre-pregnancy vaccinations to have before getting pregnant.

  • Rubella

Rubella, or German Measles, is often not serious and usually lasts three days. However, it can cause serious problems to your fetus if you are diagnosed with rubella while being pregnant. There is 90% of a chance of passing the infection from a pregnant mother to the unborn child in the first trimester. If this happens, the baby will be diagnosed with Congenital Rubella Syndrome when born, which can lead to congenital heart disease, cataract and blindness. Parents are strongly encouraged to give their babies the MMR (mumps, measles and rubella) injection when the baby turns 12 months old In 2006, the Ministry of Health warned that a lower-than-95-percent vaccination rate could lead to a possible outbreak of measles, a childhood disease with a death rate of three per one thousand diagnosed.

  • Chicken pox

The dreaded itching, scratching and scars — everything that comes with Chicken Pox.  Though not serious, it is something that we detested, as kids even though it meant missing a couple of weeks of school. Chicken Pox is pretty uncommon in pregnant women, but it does happen. Usually there are major side effects, but according to Professor Steve Field at the Royal College of General Practitioners, the disease can cause severe brain damage to the fetus in the first 28 weeks of pregnancy. Women who are trying to get pregnant can get a simple blood test to see if they’re immune the virus. If not, get vaccinated.

Editors Tip

If you are aware of not being vaccinated for the above illnesses, it is important to do so at least three months before your pregnancy!
  • Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is a disease that causes liver infection, which is contagious and can be passed on through sexual interaction or by exposing yourself to infected body fluids, like saliva. If you’re pregnant and infected with Hepatitis B, the virus can be transmitted to the baby during pregnancy or delivery. To prevent this, the newborn should be vaccinated with the Hepatitis B vaccine and anti-bodies immediately after delivery. Doing so, you can breastfeed your newborn even if you carry the virus.

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