November 30, 2023 Healthy Living

The importance of prenatal and childhood immunizations

There’s so much to do when expecting a baby. Setting up the nursery, stocking up on diapers, choosing a name – the list goes on! Among this lengthy to-do list, your doctor may suggest important ways to protect your health and the health of your baby, both before and after they’re born.

Prenatal health care

When you’re pregnant, you may feel like you’re always at the doctor. But it’s for a good reason. Your doctor is there to monitor your health and your baby’s health, ensuring baby is thriving and no concerns are developing.

Your doctor will advise you throughout your pregnancy to keep you and your baby safe. They may recommend you get immunizations, including the flu shot and tetanus, diphtheria toxoids, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine.

Flu and Tdap vaccines are safe for pregnant people and their babies. By getting these vaccines while pregnant, your body creates protective antibodies that are passed on to your baby. These antibodies will protect your child in the first few months of life when they are too young to get the vaccine themselves.

Changes in your immune system during pregnancy increase your risk of getting seriously ill from the flu. That’s why it’s important to get a flu shot if you’re pregnant during flu season.

Whooping cough can be life-threatening to newborns. A Tdap vaccine between weeks 27 and 36 of pregnancy can help protect your baby.

Another healthy idea is for caregivers, family, and friends to be up to date on their flu and Tdap vaccines before spending a lot of time with your new baby.

Early childhood vaccines

Keeping your baby healthy is sure to be at the top of your even longer to-do list as a new parent. Allowing your doctor to vaccinate your child is a great way to help protect them from serious illnesses and keep them healthy as they grow. The CDC recommends many different vaccines from birth through six years of age.

To learn more and better understand these vaccines, view this list to see when they are given and what diseases they defend against.

Prenatal health care and vaccines are important steps for a healthy pregnancy and your young child’s good health. CDPHP® provides coverage for prenatal care, immunizations, and well-child visits, as well as other preventive care services.

Looking for extra support? CDPHP has teamed up with Ovia Health* to provide resources to help keep you and your baby healthy. There are even tools to keep track of vaccine schedules and milestones.

*The Ovia Health apps (Ovia, Ovia Pregnancy, and Ovia Parenting) are available at no-cost through the Apple and Android app store. Eligible CDPHP members also have access to premium features such as the Ovia Care Team, which can be accessed selecting that you have Ovia Health as a benefit during signup and entering CDPHP. Learn more about Ovia Health.

Elise Shaver
About the Author

Elise Shaver joined CDPHP® in February 2021 as a marketing communications coordinator and currently serves as communications specialist. A native of the Capital Region, Elise earned her bachelor’s degree in marketing from Siena College. She brings several years of experience in both the marketing and not-for-profit industry. Elise enjoys the outdoors, gardening, and spending time with her family.

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