It was during my first pregnancy when I found out that I may have come into contact with the chickenpox virus. I had been at my friend’s birthday party. Two days later, I heard some of the kids at the party came down with chicken pox. I was in a state of panic! Having never had chicken pox, I knew that being exposed to the virus could cause serious problems for my baby. This time, I was lucky. But it taught me an important lesson about vaccination.
Getting vaccinated before pregnancy is a safe, effective way to protect you and your baby.
Who should be vaccinated?
It’s a good idea for the entire family to review and update their immunization status every year. This is especially important for both partners when planning a pregnancy. Infections like mumps can affect the testicles and lead to infertility.
If you get a vaccine that contains a live virus (e.g., measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox), you should wait a month before trying to get pregnant.
What vaccines do I need when planning a pregnancy?
When planning a pregnancy consider having the following vaccines:
- Hepatitis B vaccine
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine
- Influenza vaccine (TIV)
- MMR – measles, mumps, rubella (live vaccine)
- Varicella – chickenpox (live vaccine)
- Tdap – tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis vaccine
Keep in mind, the flu shot (influenza vaccine) is a safe and effective way to protect your health and help you avoid getting sick from the virus. Learn about the benefits of these vaccines for you and your partner before & during pregnancy.
It’s important to talk to your health care provider about getting your immunizations up-to date before becoming pregnant.
As a general rule, live vaccines should not be given during pregnancy. Pregnant individuals at higher risk of infections due to occupation or travel should consider additional vaccines such as:
- hepatitis A
If you have any questions, speak with our nurse via eChat or call (416) 338-7600.