Be careful about immunizations and vaccinations during pregnancy. Some immunizations may harm the developing fetus and should not be received by a pregnant woman. The risk of exposure to various diseases is an important consideration. Not all vaccines harm the fetus. That's why it is so important to discuss this concern with your doctor.
Sometimes immunization is needed. Once your doctor determines you have been exposed to a disease, or exposure is possible, he or she will weigh the risk of the disease against the potential harmful effects of the immunization.
There are vaccines you should never receive if you are pregnant. Avoid vaccinations for measles, mumps and rubella (MMR), poliomyelitis and yellow fever. You should receive primary vaccine against polio only if your risk of exposure is high; for example, if you are traveling to a high-risk area.
Few vaccines are considered safe for a pregnant woman. The only vaccines generally regarded as safe during pregnancy are tetanus, diphtheria and rabies. Others may be safe, but we are unsure about them at this time, so avoid them.
If you are unsure if you might need a vaccine and are pregnant, talk to your healthcare provider. If you don't think you are pregnant, it would still be wise to have a pregnancy test and to be using reliable contraception before receiving a vaccine.