Protecting Pregnant Women and their Unborn Child With a Flu Vaccine

Have you ever had the flu? It’s miserable and can you imagine having it when you are pregnant. Since it’s a virus there are no miracle medications for it and when pregnant you don’t want to take meds that can harm your baby. Still, pregnancy puts women at a higher risk of getting serious health problems that arise from the seasonal flu. Maybe a vaccine to prevent the flu is in order.

I can understand the uncertainty where some women fear vaccines. They are mostly thinking about protecting the health of their unborn child. How many will not take a medicine or have a procedure done unless they know it’s absolutely safe for the baby? Today doctors advise women to get the flu vaccines, especially while pregnant and here’s why:

  • If you get the flu virus during pregnancy, it raises the risk of miscarriage or a premature birth.
  • The flu has a tendency of turning into pneumonia. Having pneumonia lowers a person’s blood oxygen level, which in turn means your baby many not get the oxygen needed for normal development.
  • Flu usually causes fever, sometimes a high one. If a pregnant mother carries a high fever during their beginning trimester, there is a chance to deliver a baby with a neural tube defect. Spina bifida is one such disorder.
  • The good part is that a flu shot can protect infants too young for a vaccine. The mother passes protective antibodies through the placenta to her unborn baby. This may protect the infant after birth, especially during the flu season, which is between November through January and sometimes later. Babies can’t receive a vaccine until after six months of age.
  • It’s best to get an influenza vaccine versus the nasal spray when pregnant. The shot contains an inactive virus so it’s safe for pregnant mothers and women who plan on becoming pregnant. The nasal spray is a live virus that could cause problems.

Some precautions before getting your flu vaccine:

  • Do not take a flu vaccine if you know you are allergic to eggs.
  • If you’re fighting a cold virus or plagued with a fever, wait until this crisis is over before receiving your flu vaccine.

NOTE: I’m not a medical professional, but through research and personal experience I have written this article. Always check with your doctor when faced with medical decisions.


Is It Safe to Get A Flu Shot When I’m Pregnant, Baby Center

Flu Vaccine and Pregnancy, CDC (Centers For Disease Control and Prevention)

Photo by xusenru/219 images at Pixaby CCO Public Domain

  • Comments

    1. Profile photo of Tania K Cowling
      Tania K Cowling Post author

      The vaccine is helpful especially if you are pregnant during flu season. I first found out about this practice when my daughter was pregnant three years ago and her baby due during the flu season. Healthy mama and baby that year. So, it was interesting to research this practice, now popular with OB/GYN doctors.

    2. Profile photo of Grecy Garcia
      Grecy Garcia

      I remember my sister had a flu when she was pregnant with her oldest last year, she did not drink any medicine because she care more about her baby.

    3. Profile photo of
      Jacky Hughes

      I am actually glad I had my kids when I did. I would be concerned about the risks either way and find it hard to make a decision.

    4. Profile photo of Gil Camporazo
      Gil Camporazo

      This is what I admire from our government. It sets aside budget for the care and health maintenance of the women, especially those who are pregnant. Lives are important. They should be taken care of.

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