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Whooping Cough & Pregnancy

Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly contagious disease that can be life-threatening for your baby. The main symptom is coughing so severe that people sometimes make a whooping sound when they are gasping for air between coughing spells.

Whooping cough can be life-threatening for newborn babies (up to one month old). The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports that infants who are younger than three months run a high risk of getting very sick from whooping cough.

Get Your Recommended Tdap Vaccine During Pregnancy.
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; June 2021.

Is There a Vaccination to Prevent Whooping Cough?

Yes. It is called Tdap, which stands for tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid and acellular pertussis vaccine. It actually protects you from getting tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis.

I Am Pregnant and I Want to Protect Myself and My Baby from Getting Whooping Cough. When Should I Get the Tdap Vaccination during My Pregnancy? 

It’s ideal to get the Tdap vaccination between your 27th and 36th week of pregnancy to best protect your baby. It is also important to know that you should get the Tdap shot during this and any future pregnancies.

I Got a Tdap Shot Right at the Beginning of My Pregnancy. Do I Need Another One Between 27 and 36 Weeks? 

No, you do not need to be re-vaccinated later in your pregnancy. But if you have another pregnancy in the future, you will need another Tdap shot.

When Can My Baby Get the Vaccine?

After your baby is born, your baby will receive the Tdap shot at his or her two-month wellness visit. Tdap vaccine is not effective during a baby’s first two months of life. That is why it is so important for mothers and all those who will come in contact with your baby to be vaccinated.

I Breastfeed. Can I Get a Tdap Shot?

Yes, it is safe to be vaccinated and you should be vaccinated to protect yourself and your baby.

Are There Other Things I Can Do to Protect My Baby from Getting Whooping Cough? 

The most important thing you can do is to get the Tdap vaccination. In addition, all of the people (friends, caregivers and family members) who are around your baby should make sure they are up to date on all of their vaccinations at least two weeks before they have any contact with your baby.