MADISON – Vaccinations don’t end at childhood. Mothers-to-be or new mothers should remember to get booster vaccinations to prevent whooping cough in their babies.
That’s the advice of Dr. Jim Conway, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health.
“The baby’s primary protection for the first couple of months of life is what he or she gets from mom,” says Conway, also a pediatric infectious disease specialist at American Family Children’s Hospital. “So, it’s important for moms to get vaccinated so they can give some immunity to the baby.”
Also known as pertussis, whooping cough is a contagious bacterial disease of the upper respiratory system. It can lead to uncontrollable coughing and breathing difficulties and can cause permanent disability and even death in infants.
Women should get a booster vaccination before they become pregnant or right after they give birth, says Conway.
But the rule doesn’t apply only to mothers.
“Anyone who has contact with infants should also receive the vaccination so that they don’t expose the child,” he says.
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