Is It OK to Get a Flu Shot While Pregnant or Trying to Conceive?

It’s time for a refresher since our first flu shot blog. People often ask us whether it’s safe to get a flu shot while pregnant or trying to conceive. The answer is a very big Yes! Not only is it ok — it’s important that you do it, and it’s not too lateflu-shot.

In past years, peak flu season has been from December through March, and it sometimes lasts as late as May. If you haven’t received your flu shot yet, you still have time to build immunity.  It only takes about two weeks to make antibodies after receiving the flu vaccine.  These powerful antibodies can then be passed on to your developing baby and protect your newborn baby for up to six months.

Antibodies can also be passed on to your child via breast milk. All of this is important because babies under six months of age are too young to receive the flu shot. Strongly encourage caregivers and family who come into contact with your baby to receive the flu vaccine also.

Pregnant women are considered to be at high risk for developing flu-related complications. “Flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum) more prone to severe illness from flu, as well as to hospitalizations and even death. Pregnant women with flu also have a greater chance for serious problems for their developing baby, including premature labor and delivery.” (http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm)

The flu shot has been given to millions of women over the years and has not been shown to harm either women or their unborn babies.  It is safe to receive at any time during pregnancy, although the flu mist nasal spray vaccine is not recommended in pregnancy.  In the 2015-2016 flu season, only half of pregnant women received the flu vaccine and this was a significant leap from the 2007-2208 flu season. (https://www.cdc.gov/flu/fluvaxview/pregnant-coverage_1516estimates.htm)

Do your part to protect you and your unborn baby.  Don’t wait until the peak of flu season.

 

Source: The CDC website.

For more information link here     http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

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