Whether a woman should get a flu shot during pregnancy or not has come to concern a lot of women. And, the good news is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, etc approve of its administration.
Pregnancy is a complicated time for the body and a bout of flu can really set it up for serious complications. One of the most serious or potentially life-threatening health problems that flu can cause is pneumonia. The chances for flu-related health concerns may also be quite high during the postpartum period.
There is quite a lot of evidence to support that the flu vaccine provides protection to the baby after birth. Apparently, the child may receive some of the antibodies from the mother at the time of pregnancy. Also, if the mother is immune to the flu, the newborn will be less likely to catch the flu.
Protecting the newborn is essential because young babies can be at risk of several serious illnesses. Also, it is important to note that babies until the age of 6 months cannot be vaccinated.
The flu shot comprises of an inactivated or killed virus. Women who are pregnant must not take the nasal spray flu vaccine, which has live attenuated virus i.e. live but weakened virus.
It is wise to get the shot as soon as possible irrespective of the trimester. The shot can be taken at a general physician’s clinic or even at the gynac’s during prenatal visits. The best time to get the flu shots is around September or October when the flu season is yet to begin. This is also because it takes the body good two weeks to create antibodies after receiving the shot.
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