Whooping cough and flu vaccinations
Whooping cough and flu vaccinations are recommended during pregnancy, but what impact will this have with gestational diabetes?
Whooping cough vaccination
You are entitled to a free whooping cough vaccination in the UK ideally at 20 weeks, up to 32 weeks (although it can be given as late as 38 weeks). The reason for having this is to protect your baby between birth and immunisation. The program was rolled out in 2012 as there had been a significant increase in newborn deaths caused by whooping cough. Enquire at your local GP surgery if you have not had this yet.
For the Irish ladies living in Republic of Ireland, from what we've been told, the whooping cough vaccination itself is free but you have to pay the doctor for administering it, as its not covered by Medical or GP cards or the National Maternity care. (This information has been provided was from an Irish mother in our Facebook support group).
The flu vaccine is normally available from September until around January or February each year. It is free for all pregnant women in the UK.
If you're eligible for the vaccine, try to have it as soon as possible so that you’ll be protected by the time the flu viruses are circulating in the winter. Don't worry if you find that you're pregnant later on in the flu season though, you can have the vaccine then if you haven’t already had it.
Can I have the flu jab at the same time as the whooping cough vaccine?
Yes, you can have the whooping cough and flu vaccination at the same time, but don't delay your flu jab simply so you can have both at the same time.
Pregnant women are at risk of severe illness from flu at any stage of pregnancy, and so really need to have the flu vaccine as soon as possible. You won't be offered the whooping cough vaccine until you are between 28 and 32 weeks pregnant (although it can be given up to 38 weeks pregnant).
Blood glucose levels following the vaccinations
The injections themselves should not effect your blood glucose levels, but you may get a slightly raised temperature as a side effect (which in itself could cause slightly higher blood sugar levels). The injections leave a red sore lump for a few days and your arm may be stiff (the whooping cough vaccine leaves a bigger lump), so aim for the side which you don't sleep on. Some practices may advise having the vaccinations in different arms so that they can easily identify which vaccination went in which arm, should you have an allergic reaction.