Nov 2, 2011

Getting the Flu Vaccine while pregnant.

If you would have asked me two weeks ago if I was getting a flu shot, I would have said a big fat, “HELL NO!” Today I am going to give you a, ”yeah a think so…” The hell no was my answer before I knew anything about the pros and cons while pregnant. I have never gotten the flu shot in my teenage or adult years. I have also never had the flu. All in all I am a very health person, getting sick maybe once a year at most. I am just not sure I am a healthy pregnant person.

First of all, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, recommends a flu shot for anyone who's pregnant during flu season — typically November through January or even later — unless you've had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccination. Second, there is a special mercury free flu vaccine made for us!

According to my friends at the mayo clinic

“Pregnancy puts extra stress on your heart and lungs. Pregnancy can also affect your immune system. These factors increase the risk not only of getting the flu, but of developing serious complications of the flu, such as pneumonia and respiratory distress. In turn, flu complications increase the risk of premature labor, preterm birth and other pregnancy complications. A flu shot can help prevent these potential problems.
In addition, having a flu shot during pregnancy can help protect your baby after birth. Infants are at high risk of complications from the flu, but childhood flu vaccines can't begin until age 6 months. If you have a flu shot during pregnancy, however, the antibodies you develop will pass through the placenta. In turn, these antibodies help protect your baby from the flu.
When you get your flu shot, be sure to request the flu shot and not the nasal spray vaccine. The flu shot is made from an inactivated virus, so it's safe for both mother and baby during any stage of pregnancy. The nasal spray vaccine is made from a live virus, which makes it less appropriate during pregnancy or while you're trying to conceive. If you're allergic to eggs, check with your doctor before receiving a flu shot.
The flu shot available during the 2011-2012 flu season offers protection from both H1N1 flu (swine flu) and seasonal flu.”

My sister got the flu shot with my nephew who was born in the beginning of January. He was a very healthy baby with no complications. My sister’s neighbor got the flu shot a month ago and is due the beginning of December. She has had no complications or illness since. I have read numerous comments while doing research of women who have had the flu vaccine, and really recommend it. Of course, I have read a few, 5% tops, who blame the vaccine for issues they had shortly after getting it.

Personally, I am going to talk with my doctor about it in two week and go from there. I like the idea of protecting my baby from the flu even after he has left the womb. I also like the idea of protecting myself from having a newborn and the flu, or even worse, passing it on to him and my husband. Still, I am very apprehensive about getting it, but in this situation I just cannot find enough threats to out weigh the benefits.

I would love to hear what you think? I would also love to hear how the flu vaccine is managed outside of the USA. God knows, our medical industry is always quick to administer treatment for a paper cut…

UPDATE:  I did get my flu shot on the day I started my 28th week of pregnacy.  I did not have any side effects from it.  I am really glad I did it, because i have a peace of mind that I did not have before I got the shot.  

Two confused parents=One amused baby Hopelessly we are trying raise a baby who is clearly smarter than both of us. April is an award-winning writer and blogger. Her work has been published in over ten countries and four languages. From books to newspapers, to print/online magazines and everything in between, you can find her work. For more on April, Visit