In a media statement dated May 2, the current NZ Minister of Health, Jonathan Coleman promoted “immunisation” to pregnant women.

He is quoted as saying:

“Getting immunised against whooping cough and influenza when you’re pregnant are two of the most important ways you can help protect your baby for their first few weeks of life.” (His advocacy of pertussis vaccination seems to be based on a new study that reported a lower rate of laboratory confirmed pertussis and pertussis-related hospitalisations for babies of mothers who had been vaccinated during pregnancy.  Vaccine effectiveness was calculated “by comparing vaccination status for mothers in confirmed cases with estimates of vaccine coverage for the national population of pregnant women.” The abstract for the study may be read HERE.)

If you are pregnant and considering being vaccinated during pregnancy, it is important to realise that vaccination is a medical procedure that carries significant risks at any time – and in pregnancy, there are two people who may potentially be adversely affected by any vaccination – you, the mother and your developing baby.

Vaccination in pregnancy needs careful consideration of the potential risks given that there is research linking inflammation during pregnancy to increased risk of autism in the baby.

In some pregnant women, vaccination may trigger inflammation.

Vaccination in pregnancy is a relatively new phenomenon; only twenty-five years or so the general medical practice (and a very sensible one, in my view) was that pregnant women should not be administered any medications unless the medication was needed to treat an illness.

Two articles that discuss some of the risks of  vaccination by Dr Kelly Brogan, a medical doctor who specialises in women;s health may be read at the links below:

Influenza vaccination in pregnancy

Pertussis vaccination in pregnancy

How to find out what ingredients are used in vaccines available in NZ

Please note that Dr Kelly Brogan lives in the USA. To check the ingredients of any vaccine that you may be considering for yourself and/or your child, NZ readers can type in the name of the vaccine (or a key ingredient such as influenza or pertussis) into the search box at the Medsafe’s website at this link

This will allow you to read the prescribing information for the vaccine. (If you do not have a medical background, you may find an online medical dictionary helpful when reading the relevant datasheet.)

Adequate vitamin D levels are important for immune system function

Adequate vitamin D levels are necessary for everyone to optimise immune system function. Too low vitamin D can increase vulnerability to infection and it is also associated with autoimmune disease. In pregnancy, vitamin D deficiency has been associated with a  number of problems including premature labour.  Studies have shown that pregnant women in NZ are quite often deficient in vitamin D. See:

Vitamin D levels can easily be checked through a blood test and sunshine exposure increased and/or vitamin D supplements taken if necessary to improve levels to help maintain healthy immune system function and good general health. Consult a health professional for a suitable dosage and keep vitamin D supplements out of reach of children as this is a fat soluble vitamin and an overdose could be toxic.


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The NZ Journal of Natural Medicine frequently features articles on women’s and children’s health, including vaccination, nutrition and much more.  To download free samples from some of our issues, please visit our online shop at this link: 

We also have other content related to women’s health, children’s health and vaccination on our website HERE, HERE and HERE.

If you are looking for treatment options for pertussis, one treatment option is discussed at this link (If you suspect pertussis, please consult a health professional to discuss the full range of treatment options.)


The featured image used with this post is courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at