Travel vaccinations in pregnancy
Although most women who are pregnant do not chose to travel extensively, sometimes business or family trips become essential. If you are travelling for pleasure, it’s a good idea to stick to less ‘adventurous’ territories so you don’t have to get any extra travel vaccinations. Destinations in North America, Australia, and Northern and Central Europe do not routinely require any extra pre-travel vaccinations.
Before you book your travel make sure that your pregnancy and your vaccination record will not exclude you either from certain forms of travel or entry to any country you wish to travel through or to.
If you want to find out the specific vaccination needs when travelling from the UK to anywhere in the world, www.fitfortravel.nhs.uk can offer excellent advice.
The first thing to do when travelling anywhere abroad is to ensure that your existing vaccinations are up to date. These include key jabs like tetanus and polio vaccinations which are given routinely during childhood. Check with your GP if you are not sure you have had all the necessary boosters.
If you do need to travel to places where vaccinations are required, you will need to book these at least eight weeks ahead with your GP’s surgery as some vaccinations require a longer period to become effective. For other vaccinations you may need to attend a special clinic.
ALWAYS flag up that you are either trying for a baby, that you are pregnant or that you are breastfeeding when enquiring about any vaccination, no matter how routine. You should also advise on any other existing medical conditions you may have.
What vaccines are safe in pregnancy?
Discuss with your GP which vaccines might be required for your destination and whether there are a pregnancy safe versions of these.
For example, ‘live’ vaccines are not recommended during pregnancy, but in some cases where travel is unavoidable, it is considered that ‘inactive’ vaccines for certain diseases pose less of a risk to the mother and unborn baby than the disease itself would, if she were to get ill on her trip.
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