Whooping Cough Vaccine (Tdap) While Pregnant

Hey moms-to-be! We’ve all heard of whooping cough and this week’s blog post comes with some very important health updates regarding this disease. New changes have been made in regards to the whooping cough vaccine that might affect you, if you are pregnant. Some of you may or may not have known, but it was previously recommended to get the Tdap vaccine (vaccine that protects against whooping cough) during your pregnancy.

The recommendation, stated that you should receive this vaccine only if you have never received it before. Now, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), have revised their protocols and HIGHLY recommend that you get this vaccine every time you are pregnant. If you are wondering why this is and if it is absolutely necessary to get this vaccine, please continue reading 🙂

What is Whooping Cough?

Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is a respiratory disease that is known to be highly contagious. Whooping cough is known for violent and uncontrollable coughing which makes it very hard to breathe. Pertussis can be contracted at any age, but has the most severe complications in babies less than a year old.

Why get the vaccine?

Once you get vaccinated, your body will create and pass on the antibodies necessary to protect your baby against the whooping cough disease. Your baby will only receive their first pertussis vaccine at 2 months, which makes them vulnerable during that intermittent-time period. Also, because newborns are the frailest in the first couple of months of life, serious complications can arise if they contract whooping cough.  

The newly revised recommendation, states that you should get the vaccine every time you are pregnant as opposed to only getting the vaccine if you have never had it before. The reason for this, is because the amount of antibodies created by the vaccine diminishes considerably with time. Researchers have found that over time and with subsequent pregnancies the antibodies that remain in your body are no longer effective in protecting your little one. By getting the vaccine every time you are pregnant, you insure that your baby will get the greatest amount of antibody protection.

When to get the vaccine?

The recommended time to get the vaccine is between the 27th and the 36th week of pregnancy. The reason for this, is because your body takes approximately 2 weeks to create the antibodies that will provide protection to your little one.

Are there any side effects to receiving this vaccine?

The whooping cough vaccine is very safe for you and your little one. You cannot get whooping cough from the vaccine. Of course, just like with any other injection, certain side effects may arise. These side effects are very mild and can include:

  • Pain, redness, or swelling at the injection site
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Feeling tired

What is the vaccine efficacy?

As retrieved from the CDC, “Tdap vaccination during the third trimester of pregnancy prevents more than 3 in 4 cases of whooping cough in babies younger than 2 months old. These findings are similar to other studies showing Tdap vaccination during pregnancy is highly effective in protecting babies until they are old enough to start getting their own pertussis vaccines at 2 months old”.

Where do I get it?

If you are pregnant, and are interested in getting the Tdap vaccine you can contact RN Privée to book your at-home vaccine appointment. One of our specialized registered nurses will visit you in the privacy of your own home, free from over-crowded clinics and long wait times. Contact us today for further information!

Whooping cough can be a very scary and deadly disease and should not be taken lightly. As parents, your number one priority will always be to protect your little one. Part of that protection starts when you are pregnant. Vaccines can be misunderstood and have quite a bit of misinformation surrounding them. I encourage you to ask questions and rely on health-care professionals to provide you with unbiased and accurate information.

If you have any questions regarding the vaccine or the disease, please contact us and we will be more than happy to answer your questions and concerns. If you have any personal stories you would like to share please comment below! 🙂