It is NOT “just the flu”. When you are pregnant influenza virus can have serious implications on your health and the health of your baby. The best treatment is prevention.
If you are pregnant or recently delivered a baby, I strongly advise you to get vaccinated against seasonal influenza.
The flu vaccine was proven to be safe and effective. It has been given to millions of pregnant women over the past decade and has NOT been shown to cause serious harm to women or their babies.
As an added bonus, vaccination during pregnancy will pass on immunity, protecting your baby until she/he is old enough to receive her/his own vaccinations. Remember, your newborn baby can not receive the flu vaccine before she/he is 6 months old.
You can receive the flu vaccine in any trimester and after you deliver even if you are breast feeding.
You should NOT receive the vaccine if you are sick with a fever or if you are allergic to eggs.
If your care provider does not offer the vaccine, make sure she or he refers you to someone who does.
I understand you took it last year. You do need it again:
Influenza virus has many types. Each year the flu vaccine is designed to prevent the most commonly circulating types. The vaccine changes every year. So even if you received the vaccine last year, you still need to be vaccinated with this year’s vaccine for best protection.
DO NOT take the nasal spray vaccine during pregnancy:
There are two forms of the vaccine. One is given as a shot in your muscles (flu shot: contains inactivated virus) and the other as spray in your nose (nasal spray: contains live virus). After you deliver either form of the vaccine is appropriate.
5 Reasons why you should receive the vaccine:
- To protect yourself. Influenza is more likely to cause severe illness, even death, when you are pregnant as compared to when you are not.
- To decrease your chances of having preterm labor or delivering a premature baby if you catch the flu
- To offer protection to your new born baby during the first 6 months of her/his life. During this period, your newborn baby is 10 times more likely to be hospitalized if she/he catches the flu.
- Severe illness in postpartum women was also documented. Last year’s H1N1 (Swine flu) is expected to circulate this influenza season so it is included in the seasonal trivalent influenza vaccine this year.
- By not catching the flu you help avoid communicating the infection to other people and family around you
“But isn’t it controversial?”
No, it is not controversial. It is strongly recommended by all of the following medical organizations in a joint statement released on Sept. 15th 2010:
- American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
- American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
- American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM)
- American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG)
- American Medical Association (AMA)
- American Nurses Association (ANA)
- American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
- American Pharmacists Association (APhA)
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN)
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- March of Dimes
“Wanna learn more?” Click here for free patient education resources by CDC.
Have a safe, flu-free pregnancy.