The No.1 Thing to Protect Baby From Whooping Cough

profile picture of Anisa Arsenault
ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Updated
Mar 2017
Hero Image

Baby might not be eligible for the whooping cough vaccine — DTaP — until she’s two months old, but that doesn’t mean you can’t protect her from the infection.

Whooping cough, technically pertussis, isn’t usually dangerous in adults. But over half of babies diagnosed with pertussis need to be hospitalized, and in some cases, it’s fatal. A new study from Australia says your best defense is to get vaccinated yourself. Babies were 51 percent less likely to be diagnosed with whooping cough when both parents had been immunized. Mom’s immunization was especially important: that reduced the risk of whooping cough in baby by 42 percent. Protecting dad boosted that number to 51 percent.

Anyone else who comes into contact with baby, like siblings, should be up to date on their vaccinations as well.

After an outbreak of whooping cough in California earlier this year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention even recommends that pregnant women receive a Tdap booster during _each _pregnancy. The best time for the booster shot is between 27 and 36 weeks, because the protective antibodies that’ll be passed on to baby hit their highest levels about two weeks after vaccinations.

Are all of your immunizations up to date?

Related Video

Study Shows Many Parents Still Don’t Trust Routine Childhood Vaccines

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/29/2020

New Technique Makes Vaccines Safe in Warmer Temperatures, Study Finds

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
06/09/2020

These Are the Best and Worst States for Vaccination Rates, Report Says

Nehal Aggarwal
Associate Editor
Published
01/17/2020

Elmo Gets a Lesson In Vaccinations

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor

Devastated Mom Reflects on the Moment She Passed Whooping Cough to Her Baby

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
11/15/2017

AAP Recommends Kids Receive the Flu Vaccine ASAP

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
09/04/2018

Could Breastfeeding Make Baby's Shots Hurt Less?

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
11/28/2016

Second Baby Dies From Whooping Cough: What You Need to Know

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
07/19/2016

Watch Out for False Story About Vaccines and Breastfeeding

Anisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Published
04/12/2017

Why a Mom Whose Kid Has Cancer Is Begging Anti-Vaxxers to Rethink Their Stance

Stephanie Grassullo
Associate Editor
Published
11/27/2018

Mom Shares Video to Highlight Dangers of Whooping Cough

Christine Cordova
Associate Social Editor
Published
08/23/2016
Advertisement