Immunise for life

Canterbury District Health Board

Protection for your baby starts before they are born.

Mothers who are vaccinated against Whooping Cough and influenza while pregnant transfer some immunity to their child through the placenta and later, through breastmilk.

Send me my before baby immunisation milestones


Milestone: Before Baby

Before your baby is born there are many things to think about and decisions to make. Your Lead Maternity Carer (LMC) is there to support you and to help make it easier. Here is some immunisation information to help you make informed decisions.

National Immunisation Register

All children born in New Zealand are recorded on the National Immunisation Register (NIR).  The NIR is a confidential, computerised, information system that holds an accurate record of children's immunisations. Your LMC, family doctor or practice nurse will discuss the NIR with you, including what information is collected and stored and who can access that information. 

Children may visit many different health care providers. The NIR makes sure information about your child's immunisations is always available, even if you move away or change doctor.

The NIR also helps make sure that your child receives the appropriate immunisations at the recommended ages. They do this by reminding your healthcare provider when your child's immunisations are due, and when they are overdue.

Early Enrolment in General Practice

We recommend you contact your doctor and complete your baby's enrolment soon after your baby is born, as your child's first immunisations is due at six weeks. Your doctor and their team are there to support you and your baby's health right from the start.

Immunisations during pregnancy

It is really important to protect yourself and your baby while you are pregnant and until they are six months old. 

Research indicates that vaccinations received by mothers during pregnancy can help protect the baby.  We recommend pregnant women receive the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination and the vaccine against Pertussis (Whooping Cough).  This gives your baby the best possible protection until they are old enough to be vaccinated against Pertussis (whooping cough) and Seasonal Influenza.

For added protection, we recommend Dad, grandparents, brothers and sisters, and anyone else who is going to be in close contact with your baby are also vaccinated against Pertussis (whooping cough) so they can't pass it on to your baby.