If you’re pregnant, flu season can be very scary. To avoid getting sick and keeping your baby as healthy as possible, you may be wondering if it’s safe to get the flu shot. Well, good news: not only is it safe, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists strongly advise pregnant women to protect themselves against the flu by getting immunized, no matter their stage of pregnancy.
POPSUGAR spoke with Sabina Kobylinski-Tognazzini, assistant medical director at Doctor On Demand, who seconds the motion that pregnant women should get the flu shot. “Pregnant women can receive the flu shot in any trimester,” she said, emphasizing it’s the shot that’s safe for pregnant women, not the live nasal spray vaccine. It’s actually very important to get vaccinated against the flu if you’re expecting because, as Kobylinski-Tognazzini explained, “Pregnant women are likely to become much sicker after catching the flu than nonpregnant women due to changes in body chemistry.” Further concern is that catching the flu can be potentially harmful to an unborn baby.
According to the Mayo Clinic, getting a fever caused by the flu in early pregnancy can increase the risk of fetal birth defects. The good news is that getting the flu shot during pregnancy offers protection for your baby. “Pregnant mothers who are immunized with the flu vaccine can pass along protective antibodies to their babies after birth,” Kobylinski-Tognazzini said. Your doctor can advise as to any reason you should not get the flu shot, such as if you have a severe, life-threatening egg allergy or have suffered a bad reaction to the flu vaccine previously.