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HealthInfo Canterbury

Vaccinations before your baby

Before your baby is born there are many things to think about and decisions to make. Your midwife or LMC, and GP are there to support you and to help make it easier.

The information on this page can help you to make informed decisions about protecting your baby during pregnancy.

Vaccinations during pregnancy

pregnant-womanIt's very important to protect yourself and your baby while you're pregnant and until they're 6 months old.

Research shows the recommended vaccinations that pregnant mothers have are safe and can help to protect your baby. We recommend that pregnant women are vaccinated against both the flu and pertussis (whooping cough) during their pregnancy. The pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination also immunises against tetanus and diphtheria. You can get both vaccinations free at your general practice. Just call them to book a time.

Whooping cough

Having a whooping cough vaccination gives your baby the best possible protection until they're fully vaccinated against this disease at 5 months. It's available free of charge when you're between 28 and 38 weeks pregnant.

For added protection, it's best that all others who will have close contact with your baby are also vaccinated against whooping cough, so they can't pass it to your baby. They may have to pay for their vaccination.


The flu vaccine is free to pregnant women during the vaccination season of 1 April to 31 December each year. Pregnant women are often more ill than other people if they get the flu, and are also likely to have worse complications. Having this vaccine also means there's less chance you'll pass the flu to your baby before they can be vaccinated at 6 months old.

It's best that family members and close contacts are also vaccinated against the flu, to protect both you and your baby.

  HealthInfo recommends the following pages

On the next page: Whooping cough vaccine for pregnant women

Written by the Canterbury Immunisation Provider Group. Adapted by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2018. Last updated August 2018.

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Review key: HIIIP-232386