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



pregnancy health


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nonmember avatar loni

I got the shot. The worst that happened was my arm felt swollen and bruised for 3 days

youth... youthfulsoul

 Got it while I was pregnant and the h1n1 shot.  I'm fine and my soon to be 4 yr old is perfectly fine.

loves... lovesouldoula

Wondering if you could post the actual study that you are referring to and the results of said study more specifically. Also wondering who funding the study and why. You see, I go by FACTS. Plain and simple, scientific evidence, not by opinions.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

My midwife told me that it's quite common for women who have allergies in the latex family to have a bad reaction to that shot so I got it soon after delivery instead.

nonmember avatar Ashley

My 19 day old baby was diagnosed with whooping cough from people not being vaccinated. I was vaccinated while I was pregnant so that my baby wouldn't get sick and he did anyone from other peoples irresponsibilty. Not only should you get it to protect your own family but protect other peoples family as well. 1 in 4 babies under 3 months old die from whooping cough... I just thank God that my sweet baby was strong enough to pull through everything that he went through in his first month of life.

nicki... nicki.hemingway

The vaccine manufacturer even admits it has never tested safety or effectiveness of this vaccine during pregnancy and as a result they can not recommend the shot be used in pregnant women.  So the short answer is NO, you should NOT get this shot while pregnant.  SMH

nonmember avatar Arianna

There have been like 20 cases of whooping cough in the entire country.

It is INSANE to give this vaccine to pregnant women. The authors of this study are all professionally and financially invested in this vaccine. Think for yourself. This makes no sense

nonmember avatar Phil

Do not do it! No American babies are dying from the whopping cough. It is all hype about $.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

Really Phil? Don't talk about things you know nothing about. An infant died just a few months ago from pertussis. In Travis county Texas. As a pediatric nurse, I have actually helped with a code pink with a 2 year old who stopped breathing due to the disease. Also several infants have had brain damage due to lack of oxygen from the disease. The vaccine is safe. I had it and my 2 month old is fine. I also required all family members to get it if they wanted to see my baby.

nonmember avatar Jennifer

Really Phil? Don't speak on topics you know nothing about. There have actually been 2 infants die this year from the disease. One in Travis county Texas and one in San Jose California. As a pediatric nurse I have been a part of a code pink on a 2 year old who stopped breathing due to the disease. Also several infants have had brain damage due to lack of oxygen from the disease. I had the vaccine and my baby is fine. I also made all family members get it if they wanted to see my baby.

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