Whooping Cough Vaccine: Is It Safe During Pregnancy?

If you're a pro-vax mommy-to-be, you probably welcome any opportunity imaginable to protect yourself and your unborn baby against dangerous diseases. At the same time, you know it's counterintuitive to allow yourself to be injected with something that could potentially cause more harm than good in your body.

Here's a reason to breath a little easier: a new study has revealed that it's perfectly safe for pregnant women in their third trimester to get the whooping cough, or pertussis, vaccination. Given the deadliness of this disease, which has been on the rise in recent years, it's excellent news for both moms and their newborns, who will be born protected.


Whooping cough is highly contagious and can be fatal, especially in children under three months old. As a result of the increase in the number of new whooping cough cases, researchers developed a combined vaccine against pertussis, polio, and diphtheria and say they believe maternal immunization gives newborns the protection they need before they receive their first pertussis shot at 2 months of age.

Even though the vax is known to cause redness, swelling, and sometimes fever, docs say the benefits outweigh the negatives and that they've found no increase in death rates among moms and babies as a result of taking the vax while pregnant. They also say the vaccination doesn't cause pre-eclampsia, miscarriage, C-section, delivery, low birth weight, or early delivery.

I hate the idea of vaccinations. I despise the fact that I willingly inject foreign bodies into my body and the bodies of my children because a doctor advises me that it's the way to go. But I'm also a realist and a hypochondriac. If there's even a chance that my baby could fall ill from something as frightening as whooping cough and there's something I can do to prevent it, I'm going to risk swelling and fever in order to do so.

Studies like this one are crucial. Additional research should be performed to address the safety of other vaccinations during pregnancy.

Would you get the whooping cough vaccination while pregnant?


Image via Daniel Lobo/Flickr



Read More >