Ask Your Gynaecologist About 3-in-1 Vaccination During Pregnancy
Created by Preeti Updated on Apr 01, 2020
These are concerning times, given the spread of Coronavirus, especially, if you are a mom to be or a mom and the right thing to do is to take proactive measures to stay safe. Pregnancy was another such unique time in my life when I took proactive steps for my baby’s and my well being.
I still remember the time I got to know that I was expecting, the first thing I did was to research everything. From the best position to sleep and exercise to what I must eat during pregnancy, you name it, and I was searching for ways to do what was the best for my baby.
My pregnancy was quite uneventful, no major problems, as such, as all reports were normal. I listened to what my doctor had to say about different diseases I was prone to and got vaccinated proactively as per her recommendation. Everything had to be just perfect. I was satisfied with all the information I had but as they say, you cannot know everything. When I conceived the second time, I thought I knew most of the things to sail through. Boy, was I wrong!!
What I had completely missed out in my first pregnancy was a conversation around an important disease Pertussis and how I can protect my newborn.
Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the bacterium Bordetella Pertussis. It is known for an uncontrollable coughing fit, which results in difficulty in breathing. Long breaths follow the coughing fit usually, resulting in “whooping sounds” and hence the name.
Though it can affect people of all ages, it can be serious in newborn infants and may lead to hospitalization. Since the disease spreads through the air, it can be caught easily. Newborns are more prone to getting the infection from their siblings and parents (especially mothers) who might not even know that they have pertussis.
Pertussis can cause serious complications in newborn infants; the babies may turn blue due to difficulty in breathing and might even need to be cared for in the hospital. The coughing might last for a month or two. Though sometimes, the cough might not really be noticeable and there might be periods when the baby stops breathing.
During my research, I came across various ways to prevent pertussis in newborns which included avoiding close contact with infected persons & improved hand hygiene. Interesting fact, one of the ways to prevent pertussis is vaccination of caregivers, close contacts including the mother during or post-pregnancy.
The next question which came to my mind was do I really need to vaccinate myself especially since my baby will get vaccines against these serious diseases like pertussis, diphtheria and tetanus starting 6 weeks of age?
This is what I understood, while the baby will get vaccinated by 6 weeks, chances are the baby may catch pertussis during those 6 weeks. Pertussis vaccination during pregnancy could help pass on the protection against this serious disease from a mother to her newborn baby.
Now that I am preparing for my second baby, I shall have a chat with my Gynaecologist about 3-in-1 vaccination in my next appointment. I am hoping to get more clarity on some more of my questions related to pertussis and vaccination during pregnancy. What else would a mother want except for her baby to be healthy……. right?
Disclaimer: A public awareness initiative by GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals Limited. Dr. Annie Besant Road, Worli, Mumbai 400 030, India.
Information appearing in this material is for general awareness only and does not constitute any medical advice. Please consult your physician for any question or concern you may have regarding your condition.
NP-IN-PTX-PSP-200015, DOP Mar, 2020