Contributed by: Rachana Arya
It sure is an exciting time for you and your spouse, as you get ready to welcome your little angel in the next few months. But this is also the time when you, the mom-to-be, must make sure you’re up to date on your vaccinations to safeguard yourself and your baby – before, during, and after your pregnancy. At no other time are maternal immunizations more important than during this period.
Prenatal care requires you to administer the 3-in-1 vaccination to keep your baby safe from infection during the first few months of life until he gets his own vaccinations. Let’s understand why you should administer this vaccine before welcoming your little one into this world.
The 3-in-1 vaccination protects you and the baby from the morbidity of certain infections. According to CDC, this vaccination can go a long way in helping your baby develop infection-fighting proteins called antibodies to fight illnesses till the time they cannot get vaccinated. With these vaccinations, as a mother, you will also be able to protect yourself throughout the duration of the pregnancy and ward off any serious diseases that you could pass on to your child.
Importance of 3-in-1 vaccination during pregnancy
To understand the importance of receiving the 3-in-1 vaccination, it is necessary to understand the diseases against which it provides protection, as well as the severity of the diseases. Here it goes.
The vaccine protects against three serious illnesses: tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Tetanus is a nerve disease; Diphtheria is a dangerous throat infection that can clog airways; and Pertussis is a contagious respiratory disease that can cause hospitalisation in babies under the age of two months.
Let’s have a look at the three diseases in detail to understand and why a 3-in-1 vaccination is so important for your health and that of your baby.
Tetanus is a life-threatening bacterial disease that can lead to severe complications in both the baby and the mother. Caused by a toxin produced by spores of the bacteria Clostridium tetani, which is found in the soil, it can lead to severe morbidity in both the mother and the baby.
Tetanus is a condition caused by a cut or deep wound that leads to a bacterial infection. Gradually, it leads to severe muscle spasms that can cause of the muscles in the face and neck make it difficult to open the mouth, swallow and breathe. The disease has an extremely high fatality rate and kills one out of five people infected with it.
In the case of neonates, it is one of the most important vaccinations for children. It enters the body of the foetus through the infection of the umbilical cord, especially when the stump is cut with a non-sterile instrument.
Diphtheria is a dangerous bacterial infection that affects the mucous membranes of the nose and throat. It can be caught by coming into contact with droplets from the respiratory tract of an infected person—particularly spread by coughing or sneezing. It can cause substantial damage to the kidneys, heart, and nervous system. In addition, a child may die due to breathing difficulties (asphyxiation) if the disease blocks the throat.
It is still a major cause of child death in many third-world nations. It is therefore recommended that expectant mothers should be actively immunized during the early months of pregnancy so that their infants would be born with a considerable degree of protection against this deadly disease.
Pertussis, often known as Whooping Cough, is a highly contagious respiratory virus which can cause deadly complications in babies and young infants less than 2 months of age. It is caused by the bacterium Bordetella pertussis and is spread through the air by infectious droplets.
It causes intense coughing spells, vomiting, convulsions, brain damage, problems breathing, difficulty sleeping and sometimes even death. This potentially deadly condition requires hospitalisation in 90% of infants under the age of two months, making it critical for mothers to get themselves inoculated during pregnancy.
The 3-in-1 vaccination is a cost-effective strategy in routine obstetric care, serving to protect mother, fetus, and infant. Talk to your healthcare professional if you have questions about the 3-in-1 vaccine.
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