So, you have decided to try for a baby! Trying to conceive is pretty exciting, and many couples make checklists to ensure everything they want or need to do before ditching the contraceptives is on order. A trip to the doctor may be on the list, for instance. Is checking if you're up to date on your vaccines on it too? Checking if you need any booster shots is best done in the context of a general preconception appointment. Medical checkups are often better done before pregnancy than during it, so that you have the chance to get any treatment you may need before you are expecting a baby too.
This definitely holds true for vaccinations, many of which you cannot receive during pregnancy. Women who are not aware when they were vaccinated and for what can have their titres checked to find out which diseases they are not immune to. Here is what is recommended you are up to date on before trying to get pregnant:
- The Flu shot. You can get the flu shot during pregnancy as well, though.
- The MMR Mumps, Measles and Rubella. These diseases are dangerous during pregnancy, if the mother doesn't have antibodies already. Women cannot get this vaccine during pregnancy, because that would be dangerous for the baby too. You will need to wait a month before starting to try for a baby, after receiving the MMR.
- The HPV vaccine is recommended for women up to age 26. It protects against some of the strains of the Human Papillomavirus, including those that cause genital warts.
- If you are at risk of Hepatitis A or Hepatitis B, these shots are recommended as well.
- The Tdap is the adult vaccine that protects against pertussis. Pregnant women can get the pertussis booster shot after 20 weeks, but it is better to receive the vaccine before pregnancy.
- Chickenpox. Did you know varicella during pregnancy can cause birth defects? If you haven't had the disease or the vaccine already, get the shot!