Posts Tagged ‘immunity’

New immunization symbol

Thursday, November 14th, 2013

immunize_rgb_fullcolor1The umbrella in this new symbol, representing protection of the community, tells the story of the power of immunizations. We have written many times about the importance of immunizations before pregnancy and throughout your child’s first years. Lately we have written about the need for adults, even grandparents to be vaccinated against pertussis and for everyone to receive a flu vaccine. (It’s that time of year!)

Some infections can harm you and your baby during pregnancy. Vaccinations build your immunity and help protect your body from infection. (They also protect you from getting a serious disease that could affect future pregnancies.) You pass this protection to your baby during pregnancy. This helps keep your baby safe during the first few months of life until he gets his own vaccinations. Some vaccinations are safe during pregnancy, but others are not. Here’s a link to information on which is which.

Whenever you see this new symbol, it should remind you to talk to your family’s health care providers to make sure all your vaccinations and your children’s vaccinations are up to date.

Your child’s vaccinations

Friday, April 26th, 2013

baby-docApril 20-27 is National Infant Immunization Week, so today we’re here to remind you of the importance of getting your little one all the vaccines she needs.

I always hated watching my kids get vaccinations (also called immunizations) and winced when they weren’t looking. If you’re a parent, it may actually seem more painful for you than for them! They may be uncomfortable for a minute, but these important shots help protect them from some serious childhood diseases like polio, chickenpox, measles, mumps and the flu.

All children should be vaccinated for their own health and so they don’t spread infections or diseases to others. It’s important to keep a record of what your little ones have received so you know what’s coming up next. All childhood vaccines are given in two or more doses. Your baby needs more than one dose because each one builds up her immunity. Immunity is her body’s protection from disease. A second or third dose is needed to fully protect her. These doses work best if they’re spread out over time.

In the first 2 years of life, your baby gets several vaccines to protect her. This handy schedule shows each vaccine your baby gets up to 6 years of age. It also shows how many doses she gets of each vaccine and when she needs to get them. Your baby should get vaccinations and boosters regularly, all the way through age 18.

Often health care providers will hand out a booklet or form to parents to help them keep a record of their child’s vaccinations. Ask your child’s doc if he has one for you to use.

A little dirt is good for kids

Tuesday, January 27th, 2009

mudThere’s good news for moms already juggling too many household responsibilities. If your home isn’t 100% spotless and germ-free, it’s ok! Turns out, a little dirt is good for children, especially babies.

When babies are first born, their immune systems have yet to be developed. The immune system is the body’s natural defense mechanism, which helps protect your baby from illnesses and diseases throughout her life. Being in contact with some germs and dirt can actually help train your baby’s immune system to respond and defend itself from infection and illnesses.

An article in today’s New York Times suggests that a baby’s desire to put things in his mouth may in part be nature’s instinctive way to kick start his immune system by putting him in contact with germs.

So the next time your baby or kid gets his hands a little dirty, no need to panic. A little dirt here and there is okay!

Annual check-up

Wednesday, April 9th, 2008

A few weeks ago I went for an annual visit with my nurse-midwife, Lucy. Once I told her that my husband and I were thinking about having a baby within a year or so she immediately perked up and asked, “besides an annual, this is a preconception visit”? To which I replied, yes and reminded myself to breathe.

So I had the usual exam, but with an added and lengthy interview about our family medical history, nutrition and exercise. Lucy ordered some extra blood work that would test for immunity to certain childhood illnesses. She wrote a prescription for prenatal vitamins, wished me well and said, “call me when you get pregnant”.

A few days later I received a call. Even though I had the chicken pox as a kid, my blood work showed that my immunity was border line and she recommended that I get the vaccine just to be on the safe side. If a woman catches chickenpox during pregnancy, there can be serious consequences to the baby, depending on when in pregnancy the infection occurs. Experts recommend that a newly vaccinated woman wait at least one month before trying to get pregnant.

If you’re thinking about having a baby now’s the best time to schedule a check-up. Even if you’re not planning to get pregnant right away, it’s never too soon to get yourself in shape for motherhood.