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Getting the right kind of vaccines during pregnancy is the key to keeping yourself and your baby healthy. But not all vaccines are safe during pregnancy and it’s important that you’re aware of those. Vaccines are essential to ward off deadly infections and keep your immune system intact during pregnancy.

What vaccines should you get?

Flu shot - This shot is recommended for women who are pregnant during the flu season (November - March). It is the inactivated version that is given to pregnant women rather than the one that contains live viruses.

Moms-to-be who come down with the case of flu can even contract pneumonia and other infections apart from the usual sore throat, fever, headaches and body pains. This shot is safe for you and your baby and will go on to protect you against various infections. Next time you’re at the hospital, ask your doctor if you will be needing this.

Tetanus/Diphtheria/pertussis shot (Tdap Shot) - It can be given at any time of the pregnancy but preferably between 27 and 36 weeks.

Tetanus is a disease related to a central nervous system that can cause painful muscle spasms. The bacterium usually enters the bloodstream through a wound or a cut. You might’ve gotten a tetanus shot or two in your school after you had an accident in the playground. During pregnancy, tetanus can also cause fetal death.

Diphtheria is a respiratory disease that causes breathing issues and even paralysis or coma in worst cases.

Pertussis is a bacterial disease that can be fatal in infants. This vaccination is given to protect your baby against whooping cough. If this vaccine is not given during pregnancy it is usually administered immediately after the birth of the baby.

Hepatitis B Vaccine - Although it is completely safe to get this shot during pregnancy, it is generally only given to pregnant women who are at a high risk of this disease because of staying with someone who already has it.

Hepatitis B is a viral infection that can cause nausea, fatigue, liver inflammation and jaundice. A pregnant woman who is tested positive for hepatitis B could pass it on to her baby if not treated properly.

What are the vaccines to avoid?

Certain vaccines like BCG(for tuberculosis), Flu mist, Meningococcal, MMR, Typhoid, and Varicella are not usually recommended during pregnancy because they contain live viruses. They might harm the baby in your womb.

There are a few vaccines that are administered before or after pregnancy but not during. When you’re planning for your pregnancy, it is mandatory to get a blood test done to see if you're positive for any of the viruses so that you can the appropriate vaccines. These vaccines can reduce the chances of a miscarriage.  

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