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)
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