Pregnant women

Information on vaccines for pregnant women to help protect against flu, whooping cough, and measles, mumps and rubella (MMR).

Immunisation is the safest and most effective way of protecting you and your baby against serious diseases.

Vaccines help your body’s natural defence system (the immune system) to develop protective antibodies. Antibodies fight disease and produce longer term protection. So, if you get immunised against a disease and you come into contact with it at a later date, your immune system will respond to the infection more quickly.

Immunisations can help prevent disease or make the illness less serious. Antibodies developed while pregnant pass to your unborn baby and help to protect them in their first few months of life.

Here you will find a list of all the immunisations that can help protect you and your baby during and after pregnancy.

During pregnancy

Influenza (Flu) vaccine – information for pregnant women

Helps protect against flu.

Whooping cough (Pertussis) vaccine

Helps protect against whooping cough.

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Before or after pregnancy

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine

Helps protect against measles, mumps and rubella.

If you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant and you are not sure whether you have had two doses of the MMR vaccine, you can check your immunisations record with your GP. Most women are immune and no further action is required.

If you have not had two doses of the vaccine, your GP will advise you when you should get the vaccine.

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Rash in pregnancy

If you have a rash or come in contact with someone with a rash during your pregnancy, you must let your midwife, GP or obstetrician know immediately.

Please avoid any antenatal clinic, maternity setting or other pregnant women until you have been assessed.

Any illness where you have a fever and a rash may be due to you having an infectious disease which could harm your unborn baby. You may be offered tests to find out if you have been infected.

The health professional that assesses you will need to know

  • how many weeks pregnant you are
  • when the contact with someone with a rash illness was
  • the date that you first developed or had contact with someone with a rash
  • a description of the rash (is it a raised, bumpy rash or is it blisters filled with fluid?)
  • what infections you have had in the past e.g. chicken pox, measles
  • what immunisations you have previously had.

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Last reviewed on 27 October 2016

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