Should Pregnant Women Receive the Dtap Vaccine?

Dtap vaccine
Image via Flickr/ stevendepolo

“Would you like to receive the Adacel vaccine?” I ask the new mom holding her hours-old newborn baby.

She looks at me with a confused look on her face.

“It’s an important vaccine that protects you from diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough,” I explain.

As visitors swarm her room and the baby starts crying, she quickly shakes her head. “No, I don’t think so.”

{ MORE: 2015 ABC Kids Expo: WavHello|BellyBuds }

While we offer all new mothers the Adacel, also called the Dtap vaccine following delivery at the hospital where I work, unfortunately, many times, new mothers are too overwhelmed after delivery to fully understand the important of receiving the vaccine.

What is the Dtap vaccine?

The Dtap vaccine offers protection against three tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (also known as whooping cough) by providing non-infectious proteins. It is given as an injection, usually in the muscle of the upper arm, much like a flu shot.

While protection for mothers against the diseases is important, one of the most aspects of the vaccine is the protection that it can offer your baby. Pertussis or whooping cough is a dangerous and potentially deadly disease for newborns and infants in particular. It is characterized by severe coughing spells that make it almost impossible for an infant to eat or sleep and can lead to pneumonia, brain damage, seizures, and death.

Because the single most dangerous source of transmission of whooping cough is from mom to baby, the hope is that in protecting moms against whooping cough, their babies will also be protected.

{ MORE: Baby Health: What's Normal After Shots? }

Should I get the Dtap vaccine?

Short answer? Yes! Ask your healthcare provider if you can receive the Dtap (sometimes also called the Adacel vaccine) during your pregnancy, if possible. If you received a Dtap vaccine with a previous pregnancy, the CDC still recommends receiving another booster shot during or immediately following your pregnancy.

You should also encourage all of the adults in your baby’s life — babysitters, grandparents, aunts or uncles — to receive the Dtap vaccine to ensure the best protection for your baby.

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Did you receive the Dtap or Adacel vaccine during your pregnancy?

What do you think?

Should Pregnant Women Receive the Dtap Vaccine?

Chaunie Brusie is a writer, mom of four, and founder of The Stay Strong Mom, a community + gift box service for moms after loss. ... More

Tell us what you think!

6 comments

  1. eileen says:

    No, not only did I not get that shot I also did not get any other shots. I am very glad about this because it was found that the flu shot which was being pushed in 2011 was thought to have caused miscarriages. Your immunity is at its highest when you are pregnant why would you need a shot then? Your immune system is so good that the best people to donate blood is pregnant women because of how rich it is is everything. Shots for the baby, no, money for corporations.

    • Jen says:

      You’re immunity is actually at it’s lowest when you’re pregnant- so your body doesn’t launch an immune response towards the baby. Pregnant women are actually considered immunocompromised.

  2. pumpkin says:

    i have gotten the tdap vaccine… now i normally wouldnt care too much about getting it if it was just for myself, but i want to give my little man the most opportunities for health when he comes out next month 😀 what sucked though is that i had a reaction to the vaccine, but it was only for a day and it was pretty manageable

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  5. Jeanetta says:

    I took the Dtap vaccine and flue shot while I was pregnant and I think it helped my new born daughter not get sick her first winter…

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