Why Whooping Cough Vaccine is a Must for Pregnant Women

vaccineThe last thing any pregnant woman needs or wants is more pain or needles, but that should not stop most women from getting one more: the whooping cough vaccine. It may seem medically unnecessary, especially since most people have been vaccinated at some point, but the vaccine can wear off and 70 percent of babies who contract whooping cough in the first few weeks of life, catch it from their parents or other close family members.

Whooping cough is an extremely contagious bacterial disease that comes with uncontrollable, violent coughing. The disease is named because of the "whooping" sound often heard after the cough while the patient struggles to breathe. It is a very scary disease that once killed many babies, but had nearly been eradicated thanks to vaccines.

Now, it is back thanks to a shorter lifespan for the vaccine than many originally believed.




The fact is, whooping cough is serious. Some facts:

  • One in 10 babies hospitalized with whooping cough end up in a neonatal intensive care unit.
  • One in six chance of dying or ending up with permanent brain or lung damage.
  • The disease is making a massive comeback with many new cases happening every day and outbreaks all around the world.


It is especially important for pregnant moms to get the vaccination because it offers antibodies to the unborn baby that will protect them early on. Pregnant moms can get it any time between 27 and 36 weeks of pregnancy, according to doctors.

The vaccine can help prevent these deaths and this awful illness, but many moms don't realize their vaccine may have worn off. The most important first step is to ask your doctor or midwife if this might be you. Doctors even suspect the vaccine they once thought protected children throughout life may wear off as early as six. This means a lot of pregnant women are not protected and they don't even realize it.

Whooping cough is actually exploding around the world and that means many pregnant women are walking around putting their bodies and their baby's bodies at risk without even knowing it. Some states and cities are even sponsoring clinics to help pregnant women get vaccinated, but the quickest and best way to make sure you need it if you are worried is to ask your doctor or midwife.

No one wants to put their baby in danger, but the risks of this disease are many, especially to newborns. What might just be a minor annoyance and few weeks of rest to a grown-up could kill a young baby.

Did you have any experience with whooping cough?


Image via DFID - UK Department for International Development/Flickr


the pregnant life


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regen... regenbogenpilz

Are you aware that the CDC says they cannot prove this vaccine stops whopping cough?  Or that they have even said its potentially causing the outbreaks?   Whooping cough also works in 3-5 year cycles and that is why we are seeing a rise.  Do some actual research.

Pinkmani Pinkmani

Nope, not doing it. Look at the Amish community... No vaccines and organic foods they also have no autism or cancer...

Sirena Robinson

Whooping cough is the human version of kennel cough, a common canine illness. Because my sister is a dog trainer and we rescue, I made everyone around my daughter get the vaccine when she was born. My husband, my parents, my sister and brother in law, my grandmother, and I had it myself. I'm not a huge fan of vaccines, but this one is necessary. We do NOT vaccinate for flu or chicken pox or rotavirus as our doc told us that he sees as many cases from vaccinated kids as non vaccinated kids. Not worth the risk. But a disease that has a 17% mortality rate and my daughter could be exposed to daily? Yeah, that one we'll do.

miche... micheledo

NO NO NO!!  The CDC admitted NO tests have been done to see what kind of effect this has on babies in the womb.  There is NO evidence that it will in fact protect an infant.  They are HOPING it works.  WHY on earth would someone subject their infant child to a drug/chemicals/virus that no one has any idea of what the effects will be?  Why be a guinea pig?  Why let your child be a guinea pig?

My five month old went through whooping cough this summer.  It was rough, but I would much rather deal with that again then the unknowns of the vaccines effect.

nonmember avatar Sunshine

@pinkmani - the Amish do have autism AND cancer, although rates are reported to be lower. They also vaccinate, although less so than other groups...so did you just totally make this up or just not bother to do any research?

miche... micheledo

Sirena - where are you getting your statistics??  17% is WAY OFF BASE!

From the CDC's website: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/PDF/wk/mm5104.pdf

THe HIGHEST number of deaths occurs in children under 6 months and is only .8%  in all age groups the percentage is .2%.  Nowhere NEAR 17%

Denessa Rose

Pentacel® (Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis
Adsorbed, Inactivated Poliovirus and Haemophilus b Conjugate (Tetanus
Toxoid Conjugate)


272 8.1 Pregnancy
273 Pregnancy Category C
274 Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with Pentacel vaccine. It is also not known
275 whether Pentacel vaccine can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can
276 affect reproductive capacity.

Denessa Rose

*INFANRIX**(Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Vaccine Adsorbed)


Progressive neurologic disorder, including infantile spasms, uncontrolled epilepsy, or progressive encephalopathy is a contraindication to administration of any pertussis-containing vaccine, including INFANRIX.

Pregnancy:Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with INFANRIX. It is also not known whether INFANRIX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity.

*PEDIARIX* [Diphtheria and Tetanus Toxoids and Acellular Pertussis Adsorbed, Hepatitis B (Recombinant) and Inactivated Poliovirus Vaccine]


Seizures: In the German safety study over the entire study period, 6 subjects in the group that received PEDIARIX (N = 4,666) reported seizures. Two of these subjects had a febrile seizure, 1 of whom also developed afebrile seizures. The remaining 4 subjects had afebrile seizures, including 2 with infantile spasms. Two subjects reported seizures within 7 days following vaccination (1 subject had both febrile and afebrile seizures,

8.1 Pregnancy
Pregnancy Category C
Animal reproduction studies have not been conducted with PEDIARIX. It is not known whether PEDIARIX can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or if PEDIARIX can affect reproduction capacity.

nicki... nicki.hemingway

This vaccine has been correlatively linked to miscarriage in pregnancy.  Also the CDC has done no studies on efficacy or safety of this vaccine. 

nonmember avatar Shannon

First, do you people realize the British doctor that did the "study" that linked autism and vaccines was found to have falsified his statistics, had a retraction printed in the British medical journal "The Lancet" and lost his medical license? The resurgence in whooping cough is due to the fact that the immunity only lasts about 11 years, which is why 6 graders in my state must be re-vaccinated. Get vaccinated for this before you get pregnant or before you leave the hospital after birth. It's probably safe to skip it if you have NO CONTACT with any other children of school age or that to day care.

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