A respiratory infection caused by bacteria. Whooping cough is highly contagious and spreads via droplets. The infection normally presents with common cold symptoms and fever followed by a persistent, severe cough. The infection cannot be transferred to the baby in your belly, but the mother or other infected person can transmit the infection to the newborn. The infection is treated with antibiotics. In the US, the CDC recommends that women be vaccinated for whooping cough (TDAP) early in the third trimester (week 27 to 36) of each pregnancy. Consult your midwife or healthcare provider if you have questions.