Protect yourself and your child from flu

By the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

There are a lot of ways that you can keep yourself and your developing baby healthy during pregnancy. Protecting yourself from flu is one of them. Flu season is coming and if you are pregnant, there are some extra reasons why you should be thinking about getting a flu shot.

Benefits of getting a flu vaccine for mom and baby

Because babies less than 6 months of age are at high risk for influenza complications but cannot receive influenza (flu) vaccines, protecting them from influenza is especially important. When you get a flu shot while pregnant, you pass protective antibodies to your developing baby. These antibodies help keep your baby safe from flu during the first few months after birth. And, of course, a flu shot also helps keep you healthy as well. A flu shot reduces the risk of influenza in pregnant women by about 50 percent and reduces a pregnant woman’s risk of hospitalization with flu by 40 percent on average. A flu shot also reduces the risk of her baby needing hospital care in the first 6 months of life.

The flu shot is safe

Flu shots are made with either killed flu viruses or a single flu virus gene, neither of which can cause illness. Scientific studies have consistently found that flu shots are safe for pregnant women and their developing babies. Millions of pregnant women have received flu shots for more than 50 years with a good safety record. There is a large body of scientific studies that supports the safety of flu vaccine in pregnant women and their babies.

When should I get the flu shot?

CDC recommends that all women who are pregnant during flu season get a flu shot at any time during their pregnancy. You should get vaccinated by the end of October, if possible. This timing can help ensure that you are protected before flu season gets into full swing. Getting a flu shot is the most effective action you can take to protect yourself and your newborn baby from flu and its potentially serious complications.

#FightFlu with a flu vaccine.

For more information on why flu vaccine is so important, visit CDC’s webpage.