While you are pregnant your immune system is weaker. This means that you have a higher chance of picking up bacterial and viral infections; even if you are usually fit and healthy.
Vaccinations are a very safe and effective way of keeping you, your baby and your growing family healthy and safe.
Some vaccine-preventable diseases can pose serious risk to your health and that of your developing baby. At the moment we are most concerned about rubella (German measles), measles, flu (influenza) and whooping cough (pertussis) as there is a lot of this around at the moment.
When you are injected with a vaccine, your body
starts creating antibodies which build up over 1-2 weeks. These are your fighter cells that come into
force when your body comes in contact with infections.
Following a vaccine, your blood contains lots
of antibodies and should you come in contact with the actual infection, your
body is ready to fight it. This means
The antibodies produced when you get vaccinated
cross the placenta. This means that when your baby is born, they are already
protected against infections, even before they are old enough to get vaccinated
themselves. This is one of the only ways of protecting extremely young babies
against vaccine preventable infections (because the first routine immunisations that babies receive are at 8 weeks of life).
You baby will start their own vaccinations
against preventable infections at around 8 weeks of age. Their immune system will be too weak to start
their vaccinations before this point and they would not create the protection
(antibodies) they need. Therefore,
unless you have had the vaccinations in pregnancy, your baby will not be
protected until they start having their own vaccinations.