Q & A: Tdap Vaccincation – with Leia Swanberg

Each week our CEO Leia Swanberg will be answering questions that have been recurring throughout the week, at CFC.  This week’s question came from many Intended parents, and was regarding the Tdap Vaccination during the third trimester, and if they should be asking their surrogate to have this vaccine?

Answer:  During the completion of the legal agreement with your surrogate, there was likely language placed into the contract around prenatal testing, and following Health Canada’s guideline for medical testing prior to, and during the pregnancy.  

Here is what the CDC has to say about the Tdap vaccination:
Getting Tdap during pregnancy passes protection to your baby. After receiving a Tdap vaccine, your body creates protective antibodies and passes some of them to your baby before birth. These antibodies provide your baby some short-term protection against whooping cough in early life. These antibodies can also protect your baby from some of the more serious complications, including hospitalization, that come along with whooping cough.

The recommended time to get the shot is during your 27th through 36th week of pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period.

Your protective antibodies are at their highest about 2 weeks after getting the vaccine, but it takes time to pass them to your baby. So the preferred time to get a Tdap vaccine is early in your third trimester.

The amount of whooping cough antibodies in your body decreases over time. That is why CDC recommends you get a Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy. Doing so allows each of your babies to get the greatest number of protective antibodies from you. This means each of your babies will get the best protection possible against this disease.

Vaccination during pregnancy offers the best protection.
When women get a Tdap vaccine while pregnant, their babies have better protection against whooping cough than babies whose mothers did not get vaccinated during pregnancy. Getting Tdap between 27 through 36 weeks of pregnancy is 78% more effective at preventing whooping cough in babies younger than 2 months old.

If you did not get Tdap during pregnancy and you have never received it before, you can get it in the hospital or birthing center. It will take about 2 weeks before your body develops protection (antibodies) in response to the vaccine. Once you have protection from the vaccine, you are less likely to give whooping cough to your newborn while caring for him. But remember, your baby will still be at risk for catching whooping cough from others.

Safe for You, Your Baby
A Tdap vaccine is very safe for pregnant women and their babies. You cannot get whooping cough from a Tdap vaccine. Getting the vaccine during your pregnancy will not put you at increased risk for pregnancy complications. Learn more about safety and side effects.

Blood tests cannot tell if you need a Tdap vaccine
Although we do have blood tests that can measure pertussis  antibodies in your body, it is unknown the level of antibodies needed to  protect yourself or your baby against whooping cough. Even if you have been sick with whooping cough in the past or previously received the vaccine, protection against pertussis is not lifelong and you still should get the vaccine during each pregnancy.

If you would like to read more about getting vaccinated check out this link https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/mom/get-vaccinated.html