Flu Shots and Pregnancy, Yes or No?

The American College of Obstetrician/Gynecologists (ACOG) and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) say yes in written opinions in 2017, and here’s why:

 

  1. Pregnant women are at increased risk of serious illness and death if exposed to influenza (also known as the “flu”) because your immune system is lowered during pregnancy, placing you at greater risk for harm
  2. When you receive the vaccine, your body produces antibodies that can protect your newborn
  3. There are no vaccines at present that can protect a newborn under the age of 6 months
  1. Is the vaccine safe? Yes, according to both CDC and ACOG who track the safety of vaccines during pregnancy through an agency called The National Vaccine Advisory Committee and the Advisory Committee on Immunizations which are both affiliated with US Dept of Human Health Services and CDC.
  2. What about that controversial medical study that linked the vaccine with increased miscarriages? There were no miscarriages occurring after 28 days of pregnancy, the study implicating the vaccine with miscarriages before 28 days of pregnancy is still under investigation and both CDC and ACOG remain steadfast that the vaccine is safe during any trimester.

What are my personal recommendations?

  1. Speak to your professional prenatal care provider
  2. Speak to women who have received the vaccine during pregnancy about their personal experiences
  3. If you want to take the vaccine but are concerned about miscarriages, take it after 28 days of pregnancy
  4. Trust your gut. Trust your instincts. Everyone’s body is different but if you have a compromised immune system because of HIV, removal of your spleen, previous history of pneumonia or hospitalized for a respiratory problem, you should seriously consider getting the vaccine.

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Follow Dr. Linda on Facebook | Order your copy of The Smart Mother’s Guide to a Better Pregnancy: How to Minimize Risks, Avoid Complications, and Have a Healthy Baby | Dr. Linda is a board certified Ob/Gyn and an expert in the area of pre-eclampsia and high-risk pregnancies. Contact Dr. Linda about an appearance at your next event or media placement opportunities.

 

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