Hey Pregnant Ladies! Get The Whooping Cough Vaccine To Protect Your Newborns

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9nu0hAfter the birth of my first child, my midwife informed me that I should receive the whooping cough vaccine, as my newborn would not be able to receive his vaccination against it until he was two-months old. She explained that I should be protected to be sure I didn’t catch and pass the illness on to him. During my pregnancy with my second child, it was never mentioned, but since I had the booster two-years prior, I figured I was covered. My husband had one, too.

While reading up about the whooping cough epidemic that California is currently experiencing, I stumbled across some literature from the CDC that says it currently recommends pregnant women receive the whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) during each pregnancy, to help protect their newborns against the disease:

After receiving a whooping cough vaccine, your body will create protective antibodies (proteins produced by the body to fight off diseases) and pass some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies provide your baby some short-term protection against whooping cough in early life. These antibodies can also protect your baby from some of the more serious complications that come along with whooping cough.

Is this common knowledge, because I had no idea. Why didn’t my doctors ever tell me this? Maybe I just somehow missed the boat, but I wanted to write this up today just in case you did, too. Pass this info along to all of your pregnant friends. The cases of whooping cough are growing (especially in California) so this is very important information to have.

Your protective antibodies are at their highest about 2 weeks after getting the vaccine. So you should get the vaccine late in your pregnancy, preferably during your 27th through 36th week, to give your baby the most protection when he is born.

The amount of antibodies decreases over time, which is why you should get the vaccination with each pregnancy – to make sure you are passing along enough antibodies along to your baby. A quick poll of other mothers I work with uncovered that none of our doctors gave us this information. Boo.

Now you have it. Get vaccinated.

(photo: Johan Larson/ Shutterstock)