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Flu Shots and Pregnancy:

Do flu shots and pregnancy mix?

By

Updated January 26, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

The flu shot and pregnancy are fine together.

The flu shot and pregnancy are fine together.

Photo © RB-Pictures - Fotolia.com
When flu season approaches, typically late summer and early fall, flu shots and pregnancy become a hot topic. While there is a lot less hype about the seasonal flu and the H1N1 flu virus of 2009, pregnant women will still be given the option of receiving the regular flu shot. It is currently recommended that all pregnant women be given the seasonal flu shot by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The nasal vaccine is not recommended.

Pregnancy can lower your immune systems and it can make you more susceptible to the flu. But it can also cause you to become more ill if you do get the flu. The flu shot will protect you and your baby from the flu. Your baby's immunity will last up to six months after birth.

As with any treatment or immunization, you should talk to your doctor or midwife about the specifics for you. There are some reasons, like allergies to ingredients in the flu vaccine, that may cause you to not wish to take the flu shot. The conversation with your midwife or doctor will help you make the best decision for you and your baby this flu season.

Other things that you can do to help avoid the flu:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid people who are ill or have flu-like symptoms
  • Breastfeed your baby as your immunities pass to baby
  • Wear your baby, so that others aren't able to touch baby
If you do think you're ill, contact your provider as they can give you further information. Keep your fever down with medications to reduce fevers and stay well hydrated. Rest and take care of yourself to avoid complications like preterm labor and pneumonia.

You should not get a flu shot if you are allergic to any of the components of the vaccine or if you have had previous bad reactions. Be sure to talk to your practitioner.

Source:

Pregnancy and Influenza (Flu). Centers for Disease Control. Last Accessed 9/29/11.

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