If you're pregnant, you may be wondering: Should I get a flu vaccine while pregnant?
Yes, you should.
Our OB/GYN team in the Women’s Health Center explains why:
Influenza causes severe cough, fever, sore throat, body aches, sometimes nausea/vomiting. This is NOT the stomach flu.
Getting your flu vaccine is the first and most important step in protecting you – and your baby – against the flu. Here’s why:
- Flu is more likely to cause severe illness during pregnancy, due to a weakened immune system. (Recent studies show that getting a flu shot in pregnancy decreases the occurrence of flu-related hospitalizations by 40%.)
- Having the flu can cause harm to your developing baby.
- When you get a flu shot while pregnant, the antibodies cross the placenta and help protect the baby for several months after birth . . . those crucial months when your baby is too young to get a flu vaccine.
It’s important for family and friends to get vaccinated, too. Anyone in close contact with pregnant moms and newborns should be vaccinated, to provide “herd immunity” for their fragile immune systems.
Flu vaccine does not increase the chances of birth defects. And getting a flu shot does not cause the flu.
Choose a flu shot, not nasal spray vaccine which has weakened live virus.
A flu shot can be given during any trimester of pregnancy. You can get one during your scheduled pre-natal appointment, or schedule a separate appointment with a nurse.
Want to schedule yours? Call the Women’s Health Center at 507-646-1478, or request an appointment here.