Benefits of flu shot during pregnancy
Pregnant women are more vulnerable to getting serious illnesses caused by the flu than women who are not pregnant. Expectant mothers are more exposed to having a severe illness from flu due to changes in their lungs, immune system, and heart during their expectancy period. This severe illness from flu can result in hospitalization or even death. There are pieces of evidence to suggest that pregnant women with the flu are more likely to get certain pregnancy complications such as premature labor and delivery. A flu shot can help lessen this risk. The following are other reasons why you should get influenza vaccines or flu shots
- The flu shot is safe for you if you are pregnant
It’s imperative for pregnant women to get flu shots. If you are pregnant and you catch the flu, your chances of having premature labor and delivery intensify and you are at risk of having babies with congenital disorders. Flu shots are the safest means to cover you and your child against serious illness and complications from the flu. A good example of a complication that can turn fatal is pneumonia. Flu shots are safe as they have been given to millions of expectant mothers over many years without causing any harm to them or their babies. The shot is safe for you to take during any trimester.
- Getting the flu shot is a perfect protection against flu
The most crucial step in protecting yourself against the flu is getting a flu shot. In fact, the flu shot you get when pregnant can protect you and your baby from flu, for some months after birth. This is because your baby will be born with flu antibodies that will protect them for months after birth if you got vaccinated during pregnancy. This is crucial because babies who are younger than six months cannot get vaccinated yet although they are at high risk of being attacked by the flu.
However, you should avoid taking the nasal spray vaccine when you are pregnant because it has never been approved for vaccination of women who are pregnant.
Studies have also shown benefits of the flu shot
Several recent studies have shown their support for benefits of flu shots for pregnant women and their babies. These include;
- One that looked at the effectiveness of flu vaccine in pregnant women that found out that flu vaccination can reduce the risk of acute respiratory infection that is flu-associated in pregnant women by around one-half
- Another that found out that babies born from women who did not get a flu shot during their pregnancy were about two-thirds more susceptible to sickness than babies born from vaccinated women. Vaccinated babies were found to be protected for up to four months.
Early treatment is essential for pregnant women
You should try as much as possible to schedule a consultation with a physician immediately if you get sick with flu symptoms. If you notice you have one or more of the following signs, you should seek emergency medical care;
- Decreased movement of your baby or none at all
- Sudden dizziness
- Pressure or pain in the abdomen or chest
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- High fever that is resistant to Tylenol®(or an equivalent store brand)
- Persistent or severe vomiting
There is a prescription of antiviral drugs recommended by CDC that can prevent serious flu complications as well as treat flu illness.