Pregnant and Breastfeeding Women
Why is immunization important before and during pregnancy?
Immunization provides protection against disease that can cause serious harm. An expecting mother who is immunized not only protects herself, but passes on the protection to her baby. The protection continues to be shared with the baby through breastfeeding, but this protection is not long term, and wanes (which is why it is important that babies get immunized too). Staying up to date on your immunizations and getting immunized during pregnancy is especially important to prevent diseases that can cause complications. Talk to your health care provider about your immunization status and the vaccines that may be recommended for you.
Is immunization safe during pregnancy?
Immunization during pregnancy is safe and is the best way to protect the expecting mother and baby from disease that could otherwise cause harm. Some vaccines are recommended before pregnancy, and others are safe to take during pregnancy. Vaccines recommended before pregnancy include live/attenuated vaccines, while inactive vaccines can generally be given during pregnancy.
All vaccines are safe to take while breastfeeding.
Vaccines to consider before and during pregnancy
Staying up to date on your immunizations before and during your pregnancy is important in maintaining your health and the health of your baby. Before planning a pregnancy, make sure you are up to date on all adult immunizations. Some vaccines are especially important during pregnancy, such as the influenza vaccine.
During your pregnancy is also a great time to learn about the vaccines that your baby will need to stay healthy. Consult A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination (Public Health Agency of Canada) to learn about these vaccines. Talk to your health care provider about your immunization status and the vaccines that may be recommended for you and your baby.
Vaccine to consider before pregnancy or right after delivery:
- Measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine
Vaccines to consider before and during pregnancy:
- Hepatitis A and hepatitis B vaccine
- Seasonal influenza vaccine
- Tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis
Some women may need to consider other vaccines before, during, and after pregnancy. Talk to your health care provider to learn more.
For more information, visit the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada's website: