What you need to know about getting vaccinated while pregnant
Dec 7, 2023, 6:50 PM | Updated: Dec 8, 2023, 7:35 am
SANDY — Utah mother Aley Davis just gave birth to her second child. Since he was due around the holidays, she didn’t want to take any chances.
“The idea that I could protect my son at a time of year when sicknesses are spread so quickly has given me a lot of comfort,” she said.
Davis is a part-time health producer at KSL. She has lupus and other autoimmune disorders, which put her into an even higher risk category.
When the COVID-19 vaccine was out when she was pregnant with her now 2-year-old daughter, she was anxious about the newness of the shot, but she decided to get it.
“Looking back, I’m grateful that I did because I think it helped protect my daughter, myself, our entire family,” she said.
That decision helped her feel comfortable receiving the new RSV vaccine, which just came out this year, to protect her new baby.
“I’m totally benefiting his immune system from day one when he’s born,” she said.
Dr. Sean Esplin with Intermountain Health said that while some pregnant mothers may hesitate to get vaccinated, the benefits far outweigh the risks.
“Make sure your make sure you’re following the recommendations of your doctor and getting good prenatal care, but also get your vaccines, because that’s something that’s going to help them for the first 3 to 6 months of their lives,” he said. “The beautiful thing about vaccination is not only does it protect the mother, but it protects the baby because when mom makes antibodies, they cross the placenta and protect the baby after delivery.”
The CDC recommends four immunizations during pregnancy: flu, COVID-19, RSV, and the Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis combined vaccine (TDAP). The flu and COVID shots can be given at any time during pregnancy, while RSV should be given between 32 and 36 weeks, and TDAP should be given between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Davis had all four shots.
“I’d much rather get the shot myself than to have my baby get one more poke,” she said.
Esplin and other health care professionals recommend expectant mothers talk with their prenatal care providers to get all the information they need.
“The most important thing is to do what’s right for you and your baby,” Esplin said.