Pregnancy and you blog

Pregnancy and flu: Had your flu shot yet?

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. September 27, 2011

During pregnancy, a yearly flu shot is more important than ever.

Are you prepared for influenza (flu) season? The flu is never pleasant — but pregnancy and flu can be downright devastating. During pregnancy, you're more susceptible to the flu and you're more likely to develop serious complications, such as pneumonia and respiratory distress. The result can be preterm labor, premature birth or other pregnancy complications.

If you'll be pregnant during flu season, protect yourself and your baby with a flu shot — unless you've had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccination. The flu shot contains an inactivated flu virus, which means you can't get the flu from the shot. Be careful to avoid the nasal spray vaccine, which is made from a live virus. You can have either type of flu vaccine after the baby is born or while you're breast-feeding.

If you're unsure about getting a flu shot, do your research. Check out advice from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, or other reputable organizations. In addition, share your concerns with your health care provider. Take the time to make an informed decision.

Do you have a story about pregnancy and flu? Please share.

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Sept. 27, 2011