Should I get a flu shot while pregnant?
Not only is it safe, but it is also essential that pregnant women get the flu shot because of the changes in their bodies that make them prone to infection. Once you are 32 weeks into your pregnancy your immune system is suppressed to protect your fetus from being rejected from your body. This leaves pregnant women susceptible to many illnesses like the flu.
Can I get the flu nasal spray during my pregnancy?
Pregnant women should only receive the shot and never the nasal spray vaccine. The shot contains an inactive virus while the nasal spray uses a live virus which is riskier for pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant. Check with your doctor before getting the shot if you have had any severe reactions in the past. While some reactions are not related to the shot, it is always good to take extra precautions. You may need to wait in Dr. Ayalon’s office for at least thirty minutes after receiving a shot in order to monitor your reactions.
What are the risks of not getting a flu shot when pregnant?
Catching the flu during your pregnancy is cause for concern since your suppressed immune system increases the severity of flu symptoms. A case of the flu in pregnancy can lead to pneumonia, hospitalization, or even death. During pregnancy, your heart and lungs are put under extra stress, and your immune system will not work as hard to rid your body of the virus. The flu can affect your baby as well, causing complications like low birth weight, preterm birth, and miscarriage.
What additional actions can I take to prevent catching the flu?
Aside from getting the vaccination for you and your baby, make sure that anyone living with you receives the shot as well. Your family and others living with you are going to be in close contact with you and your newborn. You can take other preventative actions to protect yourself against catching the flu as well. Prenatal vitamins containing Vitamin C help strengthen your immune system. Don’t forget to consume your vitamins and minerals naturally through a well-balanced diet, making sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.
What if I get the flu while pregnant?
If you happen to catch the flu during your pregnancy, increase your fluids intake, eat small meals spread throughout the day, get plenty of rest, and use a steamer to help facilitate ease of breathing. Make sure to monitor your temperature at least once a day and call your OBGYN in Tarzana if your temperature gets close to 100° F or if you are concerned about your symptoms.