To help your baby get the best start in life, it is important to get vaccinations during pregnancy. Immunisation on time(external link) is the most effective way to protect pregnant mums, babies and children from preventable disease.
The first time we are exposed to a germ, it takes time for the immune system to try to fight the germ and we become unwell. However, once the immune system has memory of the infection, it can respond quickly to destroy the germ the next time it enters the body.
Vaccines contain parts of or weakened versions of a particular germ. The vaccination does not cause disease, but allows the body to learn how to respond to it, so the real germ can be quickly destroyed if it enters the body to prevent illness.
Mothers pass some of their immunity along to their babies during pregnancy. This provides some protection to newborn babies during the first few weeks of life until they are able to be immunised.
To help protect you and your unborn baby, and to pass your protection to your baby after they are born, the following immunisations are free and recommended by the Ministry of Health during pregnancy:
Talk to your doctor or midwife on how to protect you and your child.