Facts About Getting the Flu Shot During Pregnancy
When you are pregnant, you only want to put the best things into your body for you and your baby. For many women, the idea of getting the flu shot during pregnancy can seem disconcerting, but it is absolutely safe to do. In fact, it is highly recommended that anyone who is pregnant between early October and late March get the flu vaccine.
The flu shot has a variety of benefits for pregnant women, including:
- It prevents the flu and maternal complications. Pregnancy puts a lot of added stress on your lungs and heart. It can also have an effect on your immune system, all of which can increase the risk of becoming very sick due to contracting the flu.
- It prevents potential pregnancy problems due to influenza. Women who have the flu during their pregnancy have seen increased risk of premature birth, miscarriage, and low birth weight.
- It protects your baby after he or she is born. Infants are still developing their immune system, so they have an increased risk of severe flu symptoms. However, childhood flu vaccines do not begin until the baby is at least six months old. When mothers get a flu shot during pregnancy, they develop antibodies that are passed through the placenta and will keep their baby protected from influenza.
You can receive the flu shot at any point throughout your pregnancy, although it is important to remember that pregnant women should only get the shot, not the nasal spray. Additionally, if you have your baby during flu season but have not yet gotten the shot, you will still want to get vaccinated. It will have no impact on breastfeeding and will allow you to prevent the spread of those germs from yourself to your infant.
For additional questions about getting the flu shot during pregnancy, speak with your doctor. You can find out more about the flu by taking our flu quiz.