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Wellness Wednesday: Pregnancy & The Flu

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What the CDC says about Pregnant Women and this year’s Flu Season

There are many opinions about whether you should or want to get the Ffu shot. I work in the medical field and with no disrespect to other’s opinions, I personally see the importance in protecting yourself in any way from the flu. My family has had the flu shot every year and so far we have not suffered any form of the flu. Not that I solely attribute that to the flu vaccine, but so far we have proven vaccine failure wrong in my home. If you are on the fence and need to hear the Pro side of the flu vaccine, then I will share what I have learned following the CDC and my own Health Care Organization I work for through Catholic Health Initiatives.

Fact #1
“The Flu can cause serious illness in pregnant women!” As healthy as you may be, your body changes when you are pregnant. From changes to your immune, heart and lung functions, you become more susceptible to illness. The flu while pregnant makes it more dangerous to a pregnant woman than a non-pregnant woman. And any serious illness to the pregnant mother can cause health problems to the fetus such as premature labor & delivery.

Fact #2
“The flu shot is the first & most important step in protecting yourself from the flu!” Not only does your body build antibodies that protect you from the flu after a vaccine, but those antibodies are created within the baby and keeps protection for up to 6 months post delivery.It takes 2 weeks after the shot to develop these antibodies and they will diminish those first 6 months of babies life which is why no infant under 6 months will be vaccinated. The antibodies, by the way will also pass in breast milk. All the more reason to make the decision early on in the pregnancy to have the vaccine.

Fact #3
“The Flu shot is safe for pregnant & breastfeeding women and their infants!” The shot is safe at any stage of pregnancy. Remember that baby cannot get a flu vaccine until 6 months old, so it is important that all caretakers and family members are protected from the flu as not to pass it to baby.

Fact #4
“The side effects of the flu shot are mild compared to the flu itself!” Common side effects can be irritation at the vaccine site and some headaches, nausea and fatigue.

Fact #5 
“If you have symptoms of the flu, call your Doctor immediately!” Medications used to fight the flu and prevent serious issues need to be started as soon as possible after infection. Even if you have had the flu shot, if you experience the following combination of symptoms that lead you to believe the flu is possible, call your doctor:
Fever, Cough, Sore Throat, Headache, Body Aches, Runny/Stuffy Nose, Vomiting, Diarrhea. While waiting to be in touch with your Doctor, use Tylenol to bring the fever down.

Information provide by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention & Franciscan Health Systems

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14 thoughts on “Wellness Wednesday: Pregnancy & The Flu”

  1. I personally do not do the flu shot for our family, even though I am pregnant. I received a flu shot during my first pregnancy and became very sick and have opted out since. I do however take other precautions and make sure that everyone is washing their hands, covering coughs and staying away from infected areas. We have been lucky to not have a breakout in the schools here.

  2. Thanks for sharing this information. I look forward to the end of the season efficacy ratings from the CDC. I heard that they didn't correctly predict the strain this year.

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