Influenza (also called the flu) is a virus that can cause serious illness. It can be especially harmful to pregnant women. Pregnant women who get the flu are more likely than women who don’t get it to have problems such as preterm labor and premature birth (before 37 weeks of pregnancy). Fever caused by flu early in pregnancy may be linked to birth defects, like neural tube defects, and other problems in your baby. If you’re pregnant or had a baby within the last 2 weeks, you’re more likely than other women to have serious health problems from the flu. Health complications from the flu, such as pneumonia and bronchitis, can be very serious.
What are the benefits of getting the flu shot during pregnancy?
- The flu shot can help prevent you from getting the flu.
- The flu shot can’t cause the flu.
- It helps to protect your baby from the flu after he’s born and before can get his own vaccination.
- A recent study, co-authored by Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized from flu by an average of 40 percent.
When can you get a flu shot?
It’s safe to get the flu shot any time during pregnancy. If you haven’t gotten your flu shot this season, get it now. Use the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find where the flu vaccine is available in your area. Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step to protect you and your baby against the flu and its complications.
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