This is a question many women ask during this time of year, as flu season approaches. Some women are unaware of the risks of vaccinations, and therefore avoid getting flu shots while they are pregnant. Do not make this mistake! Not only are flu shots perfectly safe during pregnancy, but they are recommended by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu shots are important for everyone to get, but especially critical for pregnant women, as pregnancy puts extra stress on your heart and lungs. Pregnancy can also affect your immune system. For these reasons, pregnant women have a significantly higher chance of getting the flu, and developing more serious illnesses and complications from the flu, such as pneumonia.
Not only does the flu shot protect you, but it also protects you baby before he or she is born! A mom-to-be getting the flu can have serious consequences on the unborn baby, such as low birth weight, premature birth, and in some cases, even miscarriage. To protect yourself is to protect your baby!
Another benefit of getting the flu vaccination while you are pregnant is that some of the antibodies that you develop will pass through to your baby and provide protection after he or she is already born. This is so important because babies have an increased risk of severe flu symptoms, but infants can not be vaccinated until they are six months old- so your flu shot is all that is protecting your baby for those months! Not only is it potentially life saving for you to get a flu shot to protect yourself and the baby, but also make sure that everyone in your household and everyone who comes in contact with you baby has their shot!