(CNN) - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says most pregnant women are not receiving a recommended part of their routine prenatal care.
The health organization reported Tuesday that moms-to-be are not getting flu and whooping cough vaccines.
The CDC surveyed 2,100 pregnant women and found less than half of them reported receiving both vaccinations, but the organization says the vaccines are safe and needed.
The study said the top reason for not getting the whooping cough (Tdap) vaccine was not knowing it was needed for each pregnancy, and the most common reason for not getting a flu vaccine was a belief that it wasn’t effective.
According to experts, the mom's vaccines can protect their babies during a time when the infants are still too young to get vaccinations.
"Obstetricians and midwives are on the front line of care for expectant mothers and are the most trusted source of vaccine information for their pregnant patients," said Dr. Amanda Cohn, chief medical officer in CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. "We encourage them to start discussing the importance of maternal vaccination early in pregnancy and continue vaccination discussions with their patients throughout pregnancy."
The CDC’s report says not getting the vaccines put the moms and her future newborns at greater risk of infection, hospitalization and death.