A Guide To Flu Season During Pregnancy

The changes to a pregnant woman’s immune system, heart, or lungs make them more susceptible to severe illness from the flu. This statement should be the first tenet in a guide to flu season during pregnancy, and all pregnant women should get their flu shot as soon as possible. There are even more reasons, such as the following.

A Flu Shot Protects YOU

A flu vaccine reduces the risk of flu-associated respiratory infection in up to half of all pregnant women according to the CDC. In fact, a CDC study from 2018 reported that getting the flu shot reduces a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with severe flu symptoms, like pneumonia.

pregnant woman getting a flu shot in her arm

It is the first and foremost protection against the flu, but unfortunately, only half of pregnant women on average get their flu vaccination.

Even if you are generally healthy, the flu can cause serious illness when you are pregnant. Plan to have a flu shot in the fall, preferably by the the end of October, and approximately two weeks after the flu shot, you begin to make antibodies to protect you.

Protect Your Baby

Once an expectant mom gets a flu shot and begins to develop antibodies, these are passed on to the baby for their protection. They also help to protect your baby for several months after birth and before they can safely have a flu shot of their own. If you decide to breastfeed your little one, you will continue to provide those antibodies through breast milk.

If you get the flu and have a fever early in your pregnancy, you risk your child having birth defects.

The Flu Shot Is Safe For Both You And Your Baby

Flu shots have been given to millions of expectant mothers for many years, and they have a great safety record. It is recommended that pregnant women can have a flu shot anytime during their pregnancy.

During this time of COVID-19, it is important to be even more vigilant to prevent flu and COVID by washing hands, trying to do social distancing, and wearing masks. In addition, avoid others who are sick and cover your cough with your elbow.

Ask for the shot rather than the nasal spray.

Watch For Flu Or COVID-19 Symptoms

Call Women’s Health Partners immediately if you begin to have symptoms regardless of whether you had a flu shot.

If you begin to have fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, sore throat, or difficulty breathing, contact your obstetrician immediately.

The bottom line is there is NO REASON not to get a flu shot during pregnancy and the earlier the better.

Get your flu shot and contact Women’s Health Partners immediately if you begin to experience any symptoms of the flu.

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Your Safety and Well-being is our Priority

On behalf of all of us at Women’s Health Partners, in these difficult times, we want to thank you for your support and confidence in our practice.

We want you to personally know that our patients’ health and well-being has and always will be our number one priority. This reminder bears repeating in the face of any challenges and especially now, given concerns posed by the corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

We are taking all necessary precautions to ensure your safety and well-being and that of our staff. To that end, we want to share some of the steps we are taking:

Furthermore, our staff will be asking several screening questions regarding your health. We ask that you do not enter our office if you, or someone in your family, or someone you recently were in contact with, has exhibited flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough, shortness of breath, severe muscle aches, shaking chills, or recent loss of taste or smell, or recently diagnosed with COVID19.

In order to help us participate with our social distancing effort, we are asking patients to enter the office without any visitors, including children.

You will also have the option of waiting in your car instead of the waiting room after you have checked in. The front desk staff will call your cell phone when we are ready for you to come in for your visit.

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