I’m Dr. Stephanie Martin with Southern Colorado Maternal Fetal Medicine. In this video and blog post, we’re going to be talking about the Pertussis or Whooping Cough Vaccine during pregnancy.
Currently, all pregnant women in the United States are recommended to receive the vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks in their pregnancy.
All women should get the vaccine every pregnancy, even if they received it in another one.
Why It’s Important
The reason we make such strong recommendations for this vaccine are to prevent whooping cough in the newborn baby.
Whooping cough or Pertussis in an adult is typically a relatively mild course disease with coughing and other symptoms of the flu. But in newborn babies under one month of age, it can be life threatening and even if babies survive, it may only be after weeks or months in an intensive care unit.
Newborn babies cannot get the vaccine until they are at least two months of age, so they are most vulnerable in that first month.
We recommend the vaccine during the pregnancy so that the mom’s immunity can actually pass to the baby and protect them during that vulnerable first month.
Recommendations for Family
We also recommend that family members and anyone who’s going to be around the newborn in the first month get vaccinated before the delivery. That will further protect the baby from getting infected.