Find out from the experts on the vaccinations you should receive after your pregnancy.
WORDS CHRISTEL GERALYN GOMES
It’s important to keep in mind that the timing of your vaccinations are important, as certain vaccinations are meant to protect the baby, while others may be harmful while the baby develops.
If you’ve missed some of your pre-pregnancy vaccinations,
be sure to check with your medical practitioner
on whether you can get them during pregnancy,
or if it is better to wait till after delivery.
“Women who were not vaccinated against Tdap in their pregnancy should be offered the vaccine immediately after delivery. Breastfeeding allows passive transfer of antibodies to her baby and is beneficial. Similarly, women not immune to rubella should be offered the MMR vaccine after delivery. It is safe with breastfeeding. Varicella vaccine can also be given in breastfeeding mothers,” says Dr Sivahami Saraswathi Sivananthan, specialist in obstetrics and gynaecology, and consultant at Raffles Women's Centre.
She tells us however that the MMR and Varicella vaccinations should not be given during pregnancy, while hepatitis B can be. “In fact, the hep B vaccine is recommended to women who are at high risk of contracting the infection during pregnancy, such as in the case of non-immune women whose partners are hepatitis B carriers,” says the doctor.
Where Hepatitis A is concerned, our expert explains that its safety in pregnancy and breastfeeding has not been ascertained. The theoretical risk to the foetus is low. Therefore, the risk associated with the vaccination should be weighed against the risk of a hepatitis A infection in pregnant women who might be at high risk for exposure to the hepatitis A virus.