iStock_000020364546XLargesmAs we continue our recognition of August as National Immunization Awareness Month, we want to take this week to remind pregnant women about the importance of immunizations to protect themselves and their babies.

During pregnancy, you are often thinking about baby names, nursery colors, and prenatal vitamins, but you should also be thinking about vaccines. Vaccines during pregnancy not only protect you against diseases, but you can also begin to pass some protection to your baby that’ll last the first few months of life. The two vaccines that are routinely recommended by doctors and midwives during your pregnancy are the pertussis or whooping cough vaccine (Tdap) and the flu shot.

Women should get the whooping cough vaccine during every pregnancy . Antibodies the mother gains from the vaccine can pass to the baby, providing protection during those critical first months of life when babies are most likely to be hospitalized or die from whooping cough. When moms get a flu shot during pregnancy, they can protect their babies from flu complications like premature delivery and life-threatening pneumonia.

You can find out more about the vaccines recommended during pregnancy at, by talking to your health care professional, or calling your local health department.