Pregnant women are often hesitant to take medications — and for good reason. Some medicines, including over-the-counter medications, can be dangerous during pregnancy. In fact, it’s recommended that pregnant women speak with their doctors before taking any type of medication.
However, limiting prescription and non-prescription medications during pregnancy doesn’t suggest that women shouldn’t protect themselves from the flu virus. Quite the contrary, pregnant women are encouraged to get the flu vaccine while carrying their baby.
The flu is common during the winter months, also known as flu season. Flu symptoms include body aches, fever, congestion, headache and a sore throat. Some people skip their annual flu vaccine. The majority of people who fall ill with the flu typically recover within a week. While the chances of recovery are high, pregnant women should not skip the vaccine and risk becoming ill.
The flu virus can lead to other complications, such as pneumonia. Because pregnancy can lower the immune system, pregnant women are more susceptible to the flu, as well as flu-related complications. Getting a flu vaccine lowers their risk of becoming infected while pregnant and can protect their baby for up to six months after birth.