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A Flu Shot During Pregnancy

Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy

Flu vaccination is safer to get during pregnancy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pregnant women face a higher risk of severe illness and other influenza-related complications due to their weaker immune systems. Is it safe to get a flu shot during pregnancy?

Is there a specified time for the flu shot during pregnancy, or can you get it at any time? Does the flu shot have any effect on the baby’s development? This article explains some facts surrounding the flu shot and why it’s important to take it during pregnancy. 

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A Flu Shot During Pregnancy

Facts about the Flu Shot during Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a critical time for both you and the baby. And so, you don’t want to take chances guessing what’s good for the baby and what’s not. When it comes to the flu shot, it’s important to understand some facts about it so that you are confident in your decision to take it. 

We summarize these facts according to the flu shot’s safety, and importance, and flu treatment. 

Is the Flu Shot Safe During Pregnancy? 

  • So far, millions of pregnant women have received a flu shot during pregnancy and have had no effects from the vaccine. This consistent safety record is proof that the vaccine is safe. 
  • The vaccine cannot cause flu because it’s created with the dead flu virus. Even though flu vaccination during pregnancy is available as a nasal spray (which is made of weakened virus), pregnant women are only supposed to take the jab. 
  • The flu shot is also safe for breastfeeding mothers. So, if you missed it during pregnancy and the flu season is approaching, you can get one safely to protect yourself. 
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A Flu Shot During Pregnancy

Importance of a Flu Shot during Pregnancy

While pregnancy is exciting, a lot of changes take place in the body, weakening a pregnant woman’s immunity system. That means, in case a pregnant woman contracts the influenza virus, it can lead to severe illnesses such as bronchitis and pneumonia. 

Worse still, CDC has reports of pregnant women who die from flu-related complications. Postpartum women are also at risk as their bodies are yet to recover their full immunity. 

Here’s why you should take the flu shot during pregnancy

  • It reduces the risk of flu-related infections and acute respiratory problems in pregnant and postpartum women by about 50%. 
  • Babies of vaccinated women receive protection from the flu shot in the first several months of life before they are old enough to get vaccinated. 
  • Getting vaccinated reduces the risk of being hospitalized as a result of flu by an average of 40%. 

Flu Treatment during Pregnancy

Pregnant women easily catch on any bug going around, especially during the cold and rainy season. So when you notice symptoms like sore throat, headache, cough, runny/stuffy nose, chills, body aches, and fatigue, you might be sick with the flu. 

According to the CDC, antiviral drugs are safe for pregnant women who are infected with the flu and can be used for treatment. They lessen the severity of the symptoms and prevent complications like pneumonia

It’s important to contact your health care provider as soon as you notice any flu-like symptoms so that you can commence treatment early. Studies show that antiviral drugs have better effectiveness if started immediately after the symptoms manifest

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A Flu Shot During Pregnancy
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When Should You Get the Flu Shot during Pregnancy? 

Whether you are at six weeks, 16 weeks, or 30 weeks, the flu shot is safe for you and your baby, and you can get it during any trimester. It will have no effect on your baby’s developmental process when you take it in the first trimester, and it does not cause miscarriages. 

The flu vaccines trigger the creation of antibodies that keep your body actively ready for any influenza infection. These antibodies flow into the baby’s blood, strengthening the baby’s immunity against flu after they are born. 

So, whether you’ve just found out that you are pregnant or you are due in a few weeks, the flu shot will go a long way to protect you and your unborn baby. 

You can choose to get vaccinated a few weeks before fall or winter when the likelihood of catching the flu is higher than in other seasons. If this season comes after giving birth, you can wait until the has come and then get the vaccine. 

How Effective is the Flu Shot?

Viruses are known to mutate and change with time, and the influenza virus is no exception. Therefore, the flu vaccine is reworked every year in order to work effectively against the changing virus. 

This means that a flu vaccine is highly effective in the first year of vaccination, and you may be required to get another shot for next year. 

The flu vaccine is effective in pregnant women as it reduces the risk of severe disease and subsequent hospitalization by 50% on average. That means fewer women contract the influenza virus, and those who do only get mild symptoms. 

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Are There Side Effects from the Flu Shot?

The flu shots introduce new agents into the body, causing it to react. Most of the side effects are mild and are a result of the body trying to fight the new agents. 

After getting the shot, you may experience side effects like headache, fever, muscle ache, nausea, and redness at the place of injections. These symptoms are likely to elapse in a day or two. 

Some people may experience an allergic reaction depending on the components of the vaccine and may exhibit severe symptoms like breathing problems, dizziness, paleness, wheezing, fast heartbeat, and weakness. 

If you experience any serious side effects from the shot, it’s important to get immediate health attention. 

Where Can You Get More Information on The Flu Shot during Pregnancy? 

The CDC is always updating its website with relevant information about the flu vaccine and how to get it. You can check it here

Also, you can contact your healthcare provider for details on the flu shot during pregnancy, depending on your present condition. You’ll also get to ask all questions about the flu vaccine and get personalized answers from your doctor. 

While the flu vaccine is safe, other vaccines may not. So it’s important to educate yourself on what is good for you and your baby before you get vaccinated. 

Flu Shot During Pregnancy Videos & Information

Medical Disclaimer

The information contained in this post is for general information purposes only.
A Flu Shot During Pregnancy is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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