During your pregnancy, you may be faced with the choice whether or not to have a particular vaccination. The choice is always up to you. Below you will find background information which can help you to make a choice.
With the onset of autumn and winter, the risk of flu also increases and you might be wondering if it is a good idea to get the flu vaccine. As a pregnant woman, it is important to take good care of yourself during this period. We would therefore like to give you some information about the influenze (flu) vaccine and what else you can do to prevent the flu.
To start with, a good resistance is essential in fighting bacteria and viruses. To boost your resistance, there are a number of things you can do:
– Wash your hands regularly often with soap and water
– Eat enough fruit and vegetables
– Get enough sleep
– Try to exercise regularly
Being pregnant can affect your immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases such as the flu. Moreover, pregnant women can get quite sick from the flu, so it is important to avoid infection with it. A flu vaccine can provide good protection against severe effects of the flu. This vaccination is advised annually to people with diseases or reduced resistance. However, pregnant women are also eligible for the flu vaccine.
During pregnancy, the flu vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect yourself. The flu vaccine causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus, protecting you. Besides protection for yourself, the flu vaccine also offers protection for your baby. In fact, antibodies can also reach your baby via the placenta, so your baby is well protected in the first months after birth.
It is important to read the information about the flu vaccine carefully. It will help you make a balanced choice. Review all the relevant information on this page. Women who are 22 weeks or more pregnant, between 15 October 2023 and 1 March 2024, can get the flu vaccine free of charge from the JGZ (the child health care centre). Do you also want to get the whooping cough vaccination? Both jabs may be administered at the same time. Click here for information to make an appointment.
Side effects and safety
In general, side effects of the flu vaccine are mild and similar to those of people who are not pregnant. You may experience some pain or swelling at the injection site, and sometimes feel a little tired. These side effects are usually short-term and do not harm you or your baby. The flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy and a lot of research has been done on this. There is no increased risk of adverse effects such as miscarriage or birth defects if you get the flu vaccine.
Have you became ill anyway?
Have you fallen ill despite all the precautions? Fortunately, with the flu vaccine, the infection often runs mildly and there is no reason to panic. Give your body a rest and drink plenty of water. As with non-pregnant people, it is a matter of getting over it.
If you have a fever or elevation, it is wise to take paracetamol, this way you can suppress the fever. Is your temperature higher than 38.5? Then call the midwife. If the symptoms do not go away by themselves, also call the midwife or your GP.
Do you have questions about the flu vaccine, or are you finding it difficult to make a decision? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to think with you so that you can make a choice that suits you.
The Covid vaccine
Unfortunately, corona infections still occur. Read more about the virus and its symptoms here. You can also can get sick from corona in the pregnancy. It is no longer necessary to take a corona test. If you do have a positive test, you feel sick and you have an appointment with the midwife’s practice, call the practice to discuss whether or not you can come to the appointment.
For pregnant women, mRNA vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) have been found to be safe. Side effects after the booster shot are not expected to be more frequent or severe than the first 2 vaccinations. You can take the booster vaccination during any trimester of pregnancy but as efficacy is especially important in the 2nd half of pregnancy, the advice is to administer the vaccination after 16 weeks of pregnancy. The shot makes you make antibodies against corona, which also reach the baby via the placenta. We do not know how well this protects the baby against corona. Read more information about the Covid-vaccination in the pregnancy here.
You must have had the last corona vaccination or a corona infection at least 3 months ago. There is no need to consider the whooping cough vaccination or the flu vaccine in terms of time interval. So these may also be given on the same day. You can get the shot even if you are breastfeeding. Doctors think that no substances from the shot get into breastfeeding.
Side effects and safety
You may not feel very well for a few days after the vaccination, for example, chills and fever. You might experience a sore arm from the vaccination. There are also serious side effects. These are very rare. The side effects are just as rare in pregnant women as in non-pregnant women.
Do you have questions about the Covid-vaccine, or are you finding it difficult to make a decision? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to think with you so that you can make a choice that suits you.
The Whooping Cough (Pertussis) vaccine
The whooping cough vaccine reduces the risks that your baby will get whooping cough in the first 3 months after birth. It is important you read this following information carefully. Here you can read all the relevant information about the vaccine. This information can help you to make a well-informed decision. The vaccine is part of the Dutch National Immunisation Programme and therefore it’s for free.
Safety and side effects
The whooping cough vaccination has been found to be safe in pregnancy. As with any vaccination, you may experience side effects. Examples include drowsiness, headache and reactions at the spot where you were pricked (redness, thick or painful arm). These side effects are usually quite mild and go away by themselves. Serious side effects, such as a severe allergic reaction, are very rare.
It is possible to get the vaccines during an introduction appointment with the JGZ. During this appointment you can also discuss what you can expect from them after your child is born. Do you also want to get the influenze vaccination? Both jabs may be administered at the same time. You can make an appointment via this phone number: 030-286 33 00, option 2 or click here for information to make an appointment.
Do you have questions about the whooping cough vaccine, or are you finding it difficult to make a decision? Do not hesitate to contact us. We are happy to think with you so that you can make a choice that suits you.