My name is Margie Danchin. I’m a paediatrician and mother of four. I’ve been talking with parents about vaccination for more than 10 years.
I know that pregnancy is a unique and exciting time for both mums and dads, and that there is a lot of new information to take in. Vaccination is a topic that we know parents start thinking about during pregnancy, especially first-time parents. Over the years, I’ve learned that parents want and need open, non-judgmental conversations with their healthcare providers to support them to make informed decisions about vaccination.
Many people don’t know that influenza (commonly known as ‘the flu’) can be devastating for pregnant women and their babies. That’s why it’s recommended that women get an influenza vaccine when they are pregnant.
It’s also recommended that pregnant women get a vaccine for whooping cough (also known as pertussis) between 20 and 32 weeks of pregnancy. Whooping cough can be life-threatening for young babies.
Getting both of these vaccines during pregnancy allows mums to transfer protective antibodies to their bubs even before they’re born, so they’re protected from birth when they are most vulnerable.
There is strong scientific evidence showing that maternal and childhood vaccines are safe and effective, but it can be daunting to make sense of all the information and choices, especially for first-time parents.
That’s why we developed MumBubVax.
The MumBubVax team has developed a website, resources and training materials to provide expectant parents and healthcare providers with the best available information about vaccines in pregnancy. MumBubVax contains information about the safety, effectiveness and importance of maternal vaccines, and the vaccines recommended for babies and children. We developed the materials in partnership with pregnant women, midwives and GPs because we wanted to be sure we were providing them with information that they really want and need.
We have presented the most important information as simply as possible so that it’s easy to find and understand. However, we know that some parents want more information so, for those that want it, we’ve also included lots of detail and links to the scientific evidence.
The MumBubVax website is also linked to the Sharing Knowledge About Immunisation (SKAI) website. SKAI contains comprehensive information regarding childhood vaccines to support decision-making for parents and health professionals. It is our team’s goal to build parents’ confidence in vaccination, starting in pregnancy and continuing through childhood.
We are strong advocates for vaccination but we also understand that respectful communication between parents and healthcare providers is crucial to informed vaccine decision-making. Parents and providers often want to and should ask questions about vaccines. These resources are intended to support more efficient and effective conversations about the benefits and safety of vaccines for both mothers and their children.
Whether you or someone you love is expecting a baby, or you are a healthcare provider, we hope that MumBubVax becomes your trusted, go-to source of vaccination information. We hope MumBubVax answers your questions about vaccination during pregnancy and early childhood, and reassures you that vaccination is an important part of a safe, healthy start to life.
A/Prof Margie Danchin MBBS FRACP Ph.D
Mother, paediatrician and researcher