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Pregnancy Flu Shot Side Effects and Safety

Pregnancy flu shot side effects and safety facts*

*Pregnancy flu shot side effects and safety facts medical author: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

  • The flu shot is absolutely safe for pregnant women, but pregnant women should not receive the nasal-spray flu vaccine.
  • Getting the flu shot during pregnancy can help protect the baby after it is born.
  • It is recommended that pregnant women get the flu shot as soon as it is available.
  • Changes in the body during pregnancy can make a woman more vulnerable to catching the flu.
  • The flu is likely to be more severe in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women.
  • The flu shot is safe for use in any trimester of pregnancy.
  • The flu shot does not cause miscarriage or problems with the pregnancy.

Should you get the shot? Is it safe?

Changes to a pregnant woman's immune system can make her more sensitive to the flu. You should get the flu vaccine as soon as it is available in your area.

  • The flu shot is the only flu vaccine approved for pregnant women. You should not get the nasal spray.
  • If you get the flu shot during your pregnancy it will provide some protection to your baby after he or she is born.
  • Once the baby is born, breastfeeding will help your baby stay healthy during flu season.
  • If you have flu-like symptoms, contact your health care provider as soon as possible.

Why does being pregnant put me at higher risk for getting the flu?

Changes to your immune system during pregnancy can make you more sensitive to the flu. This can result in serious problems for your unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery. Additionally, fever in early pregnancy can lead to birth defects.

How can I protect myself and my unborn child from the flu?

Get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available in your area. You will need to get the flu shot. The nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women. If you get the flu shot during your pregnancy, research shows it provides some protection to your baby both while you are pregnant and after the baby is born.

In addition, follow our everyday steps to keep you and your baby healthy this flu season.

How can I protect my baby once he or she is born?

Breastfeeding protects babies because breast milk passes your antibodies to your baby. The antibodies in breast milk help fight off infection. Studies show that babies who are breastfed do not get as sick and are sick less often than babies who are not breastfed.

If you get the flu, do not stop breastfeeding. Unless directed by your health care provider, continue to nurse your baby while being treated for the flu.


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