Why Pregnant Women Need a Flu Shot
Pregnancy is an exciting time. Throughout the course of your pregnancy, you’ve done all you can to protect the health of your baby, from taking a daily prenatal multivitamin to keeping all your appointments with your OB. Now that flu season is upon us, it’s time to protect the health of you and your baby by getting a flu shot. Here’s why the flu shot is an essential part of your prenatal care:
1. You Provide Your Baby with Immunity
Babies are particularly vulnerable as newborns. When infants become sick, they are much more likely to experience complications from common illnesses, especially the flu. In newborns, the flu can cause dehydration, high fever, or difficulty breathing. This is because babies have weakened immune systems that aren’t accustomed to fighting off infection. Getting a flu shot during pregnancy can provide your baby with antibodies that will protect them in their first, most vulnerable months of life.
2. You Protect Yourself
Pregnant women are more likely to experience severe illness from the flu because they have weaker immune systems. The flu shot helps protect against serious and potentially life-threatening complications that could result in hospitalization. Vaccination is a simple and effective step toward protecting the health of yourself and your developing baby.
3. Getting the Flu Shot is Safe
The flu shot is safe in any trimester, but your provider may choose to administer the shot in the second or third trimester, as there is limited research regarding the safety of the vaccine during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, there is a good safety record regarding the flu vaccine for pregnant mothers and their developing babies.
4. Other Family Members Can Get the Flu Shot, Too
The flu vaccine will help protect you and your baby by providing them with immunity. However, you can take other preventive actions. Encourage your partner, caregivers, and other family members to get the flu shot in order to protect your infant.
The flu vaccine is a simple and effective way to protect your developing baby and young infant from potentially serious illness. It’s also safe for both mother and baby. If you still have any questions or concerns, we’re here to help! Simply talk to your provider for more information or reassurance. We know that you want to do everything possible to protect your baby, and a flu vaccine is an essential step.