The answer is YES!
If you are an expecting mother for the first time, you may be wondering if it is safe to get your yearly flu shot. The flu shot is indeed safe for pregnant women and is in fact recommended for all pregnant women during the flu season by the Centers of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Regardless of the trimester, getting a flu shot is proven to protect and prevent both the mother and baby from the virus.
The flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women of reproductive age who are not pregnant.
Pregnant women are more susceptible to severe illness from the flu than those that are not pregnant. Such illness can even result in hospitalization. In addition, having a fever caused by the flu early in pregnancy may increase the risk of fetal birth defects. Getting vaccinated while pregnant not only protects you and your baby during the pregnancy, but also protects your baby after birth. Antibodies developed after the vaccination are passed on to your baby and helps protect your baby from the flu after birth.
In general, women who are expecting are advised to avoid live vaccinations.
The nasal spray flu vaccine is equally as effective as the injected form of the vaccine, but it contains a tiny amount of weakened active virus. For this reason, pregnant women should opt for the injected form of the vaccine rather than the nasal spray.
The most common side effects experienced by pregnant women are the same as any other person with the vaccination.
Side effects of the flue are generally mild and go away on their own within a few days. These side effects can include:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling at the injection site
- Muscle ache