Becoming a surrogate is an amazing and life-changing experience. Not only will you help a family grow, you’ll touch lives in a way you never thought possible. Of course, there’s a lot to be done when you begin the surrogacy journey as well, and one of those things includes protecting yours and the baby’s health with vaccines. In honor of National Immunization Month, we’re covering vaccines you may need to get as you embark upon your surrogacy journey.
1) Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR)
Because most people receive the vaccine as children and can then maintain immunity for life, a simple blood test can be used to verify immunity. According to the CDC, women who are not current on their MMR vaccine should be inoculated a month prior to conceiving. Although measles have become somewhat of a concern in recent years again, the CDC’s primary concern here is rubella, which is highly contagious and can cause miscarriage. If you are tested and are not immune, the CDC recommends getting vaccinated and then waiting month before getting tested again, and only going forward with plans to conceive after immunity is confirmed.
2) Chicken Pox
Bloodwork can also verify if you’re immune to chicken pox. Although children normally recover quite well from it, adult chicken pox can be very serious, especially during pregnancy. Although rare, babies in utero during a bout of chicken pox can develop severe abnormalities, including deformations and neurological issues. Miscarriage is also a risk. Most people become immune after having chicken pox or after getting vaccinated, but a few need a booster, so it’s worthwhile to be checked.
3) Hepatitis B
Hep B is low-risk as it’s only transmitted via bodily fluids. However, it is possible to get it from your partner or even in certain careers, such as health care. Liver failure and cancer are the big concerns. Hep B can be transferred from surrogate to baby, so it usually goes on the list of vaccines as a precaution.
4) Tetanus, Diphtheria and Pertussis (TDaP)
Pertussis, also known as the whooping cough, can be fatal to anyone and it claims the lives of about 20 newborns per year. Healthcare professionals usually recommend the vaccine somewhere between weeks 16-32 because it gives the baby some protection after birth.
In rare cases, the flu has resulted in birth defects and miscarriages. Experts think it’s related to the fever more than anything else, but they’re still not totally certain. Moreover, medication options are somewhat limited while you’re pregnant, and so having the vaccine can help ensure you stay comfortable during the pregnancy.
Your Doctor May Recommend an Alternate Schedule if You’re Becoming a Surrogate
If you’re travelling or the baby’s intended parents will be taking the baby out of the country after he or she is born, your doctor may recommend other vaccines. Depending on your medical history, you may be asked to forego some of the above or be told to have supplementary ones as well. Always defer to your doctor’s advice—he or she knows you and situation and will give you recommendations specific to your situation.
Become a Surrogate with SPS
If you’re interested in becoming a surrogate but haven’t signed up with an agency yet, SPS is here to guide the way. We’ll help match you with intended parents who share your values, make sure your contract is set, and ensure you stay protected throughout his miraculous journey. To get started, learn more about becoming a surrogate today.