Can I Get the Flu Shot While Pregnant?
If you are pregnant, you can indeed receive your annual flu shot. In fact, it’s encouraged! Women in any stage of pregnancy or who have recently given birth are considered to be at an elevated risk of the seasonal influenza virus (flu) and should be particularly mindful to be vaccinated. (Be sure to ask for the flu shot—not the nasal spray vaccine—as the shot is considered to be safer for pregnant women.)
The thought of receiving a vaccine while you are pregnant may be unsettling, but being vaccinated against the flu is advantageous for you and your baby. Consider that:
- Pregnant women are at an increased risk of the flu and its miserable symptoms, which can include weeks of fatigue, muscle aches, headaches, sore throat and nasal congestion.
- Expectant mothers are also at an increased risk of developing potentially life-threatening complications from the flu, which may result in hospitalization.
- Women who develop a flu-related fever early in their pregnancy may have an increased risk of fetal birth defects.
- When a pregnant woman is vaccinated against the flu, she passes flu-resistant antibodies through her placenta and breastmilk. This can help protect the baby from the flu during his or her first months of life, as pediatric flu shots aren’t administered to babies younger than 6 months old.
It’s also important to receive your annual flu shot if you are living with a pregnant woman. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that up to 20% of the American population is affected by the flu every year—that’s a lot of people! Protect your health and the health of those around you by getting vaccinated.
Obstetrics at Tufts Medical Center Community Care
Being pregnant comes with plenty of questions like the one answered on this page. If you are pregnant or suspect you may be, you’ll need a team of professionals who can provide the guidance you need to help you achieve your best health—for you and your baby. That’s where Tufts Medical Center Community Care comes in. Our multispecialty medical group includes obstetricians, gynecologists and primary care physicians who work hand-in-hand to provide individualized and expertly coordinated care to pregnant women throughout north suburban Boston. From flu shots to ultrasounds and labor and delivery, we have you covered.
We’re Here to Help
Contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today to learn more about our services for expecting mothers. You may also visit us if you simply need a flu shot or want to discuss your health risks with a physician. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have about the flu vaccine and direct you to the best physician for your needs. Our practice accepts most major health insurance plans and is proud to be a part of MelroseWakefield Hospital and Lawrence Memorial Hospital of Medford.