For any expecting mother, a flu shot is the best protection against serious illness and complications from the flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you come down with the flu when you’re expecting, you’re at greater risk of having severe complications—like pneumonia—that could land you in the hospital.
So, lets chat and chew over some common questions about getting the flu shot during pregnancy.
IS THE FLU SHOT SAFE TO GET DURING PREGNANCY?
Yes, the flu shot is not only safe to get during pregnancy (and when you’re breastfeeding), it’s a definite do. The seasonal flu shot has been given safely to millions of pregnant women over many years and has not been shown to cause harm to expecting moms or their babies.
WHERE CAN I GET A FLU SHOT?
You can either ask your OB-GYN or stop by a flu shot clinic at your local pharmacy or supermarket. Since the CDC puts pregnant women at the top of the priority list for getting vaccinated (along with the elderly and children between the ages of 6 months and 5 years), you’ll likely head to the front of the line, even if the vaccine is in short supply. One thing to note Is that the nasal spray vaccine is not approved for pregnant women, so you’ll have to receive the vaccine through a needle.
WHY SHOULD I GET THE FLU SHOT?
The flu can be dangerous when you’re expecting, since pregnant women are at greater risk of (and more likely to be hospitalized by) more serious flu complications like pneumonia. Also, the flu shot isn’t just for your own protection, but your baby’s as well. Plenty of research shows that babies whose moms got the flu vaccine during pregnancy are less likely to catch the virus after birth, and they’re protected against the virus until they’re old enough to get their own shot, at 6 months.
WHEN SHOULD I GET THE FLU SHOT?
The flu season lasts from as early as October until as late as May. The CDC recommends getting a flu shot as early in each flu season as possible (preferably by October) so you’re protected from the start. Don’t forget: Compass Rose Health Plan members are covered at 100%, so don’t hesitate! Get your flu shot today!
For more advice on how to protect you and your baby-to-be, read the CDC’s list of Good Health Habits for Preventing Seasonal Flu. Also, check our website in 2016 for our newest wellness addition: Prenatal Care. Learn more information about your maternity benefits, do’s and don’ts during pregnancy, healthy tips, and access to other resources to help you during your pregnancy!