Why Do We Need The Pertussis Vaccine When Pregnant?

Why Do We Need The Pertussis Vaccine When Pregnant? – Have you ever thought about why doctors recommend for us to get the pertussis vaccine when we’re pregnant, but not necessarily right before or after? We’ve got burning questions and know you do, too! The Tuscarawas County Health Department is going to help us out with answers right here on Newsymom!

This is Public Health is brought to you in partnership with the Tuscarawas County Health Department.

Here we go again, you think. Just when you think you’ve got a handle on all the appointments, doctors, and tests, you’re hit with another recommendation during weeks 27-36 of your pregnancy: the pertussis vaccine.

Can’t I just be a bloated whale in peace? you think to yourself. I would kill to have one week without hauling around this bowling ball strapped to my belly everywhere. I need naps!

Well hold your horses girl because this recommendation comes from solid research!

Alright, tell me: What’s pertussis?

Pertussis (also known as Whooping Cough) is a highly contagious disease that’s detrimental to a baby’s health. During the first two months of life, babies are highly susceptible to the disease as their immune systems are not equipped to handle it!

Symptoms of the disease typically progress through three stages:

Stage 1

Early symptoms last about 1-2 weeks and can include: runny/stuffy nose, low-grade fever, mild cough (for older children and adults), Apnea (life-threatening pauses in breathing) and cyanosis (turning blue or purple) in babies and young children. For teens and adults, it can seem like a mild cold. For babies and young children whose immune systems are developing, the disease should be taken much more seriously.

Stage 2

After the two weeks, people with pertussis may develop paroxysms – rapid, violent, and uncontrolled coughing fits. The coughing fits normally last 1-6 weeks, but have been known to last up to 10 weeks! The fits can cause people to:

  • Make a high-pitched “whoop” sound when they are finally able to inhale at the end of a coughing fit
  • Vomit during or after coughing fits
  • Feel very tired after the fit, but usually seem well in-between fits
  • Struggle to breathe

With many babies, they don’t cough. Instead they struggle to breathe and turn blue, seeming like they have a severe, long-term cold.

Stage 3

Recovery: Symptoms lessen, but you can still experience coughing fits as you feel a little better.

Now, Back to the Pertussis Vaccine

Since babies can’t get vaccines that early after being born, vaccinating while you’re still pregnant with your little one gives them the boost they need to fight pertussis after they’ve arrived! After all, prevention is the best medicine.

Get That Tdap Girl!

You can call the Tuscarawas County Health Department at (330) 343-5555 x. 1000 to schedule your recommended pertussis vaccine! Check in with your medical provider if you have any questions, but set your babe up for success by getting vaxxed.

Did you know the Tuscarawas County Health Department offers TONS more services and resources? Visit them at www.tchdnow.org to see what other services they offer you and your family.

Make sure to follow along on Facebook (@tchdnow) for the latest pregnancy news and safety tips to keep your bun warm and toasty in your oven! 😉

Melissa Klatt


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