When you’re pregnant, getting the flu can cause serious problems, no matter how healthy you are. That’s why it’s so important to get a flu shot before October, when the flu season generally begins.
Why is the flu so dangerous?
When you’re pregnant, changes in your immune, heart and lung functions make you more likely to get dangerously ill from the flu. In fact, pregnant women who get the flu have a greater risk of hospitalization—and even death—than women who are not pregnant. What’s more, a severe illness like the flu can harm your developing baby because it increases your chances for other problems, including premature labor.
When it comes to the flu shot, you can relax, knowing that it has not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. Plus, you can get the flu shot at any time, during any trimester. The side effects are mild, including tenderness or swelling where the shot was given.
IMPORTANT: Whether you’ve had the flu shot or not, if you experience any flu symptoms while you’re pregnant, call your doctor immediately.
Fever is especially dangerous when you’re pregnant, so it’s critical to get medical advice if you experience any flu symptoms. Bottom line: If you’re pregnant, be sure to discuss the flu shot with your healthcare provider who can help protect you and your baby.