Pregnant during flu season? Vaccinations protect you and your baby

Pregnant during flu season? Vaccinations protect you and your baby

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Studies show Tdap and flu vaccines are safe and effective during pregnancy. Here's when to get them:

  • Flu shot: anytime during your pregnancy. No matter what trimester you're in, get the flu vaccine when it becomes available – preferably by the end of October, so you're protected before the flu season begins.
  • Whooping cough (Tdap): early in your third trimester. The CDC recommends getting the Tdap vaccine during each pregnancy – preferably when you are between 27 and 36 weeks pregnant, regardless of when you last had the shot.

Only a third of pregnant women in the U.S. get both the flu and whooping cough vaccines, according to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Despite strong recommendations that women get both vaccines during every pregnancy, about half get one vaccine, but not the other.

Preventing whooping cough and influenza during pregnancy is crucial. When you get vaccinated against these diseases, your body creates antibodies that are passed on to your baby. This helps your baby fight whooping cough and flu infections for several months after she's born, even though she'll be too young to get the vaccines herself.

Whooping cough and flu can be deadly to babies. About two-thirds of whooping cough deaths occur in babies under 2 months old, according to the CDC. And babies younger than 6 months are at a higher risk than older children of being hospitalized because of the flu.

Getting vaccinated also protects you. Contracting the flu while pregnant doubles your risk of being hospitalized. In fact, of all women of childbearing age hospitalized since 2010 because of flu complications, up to 34 percent were pregnant. Yet only 9 percent of women in this age group are pregnant at any given time, the CDC reported.

Read on for more information about which vaccines are safe, and which to avoid during pregnancy.

our site News & Analysis is an assessment of recent news designed to cut through the hype and get you what you need to know.

Watch the video: Flu vaccination and pregnancy What pregnant women need to know. (December 2022).

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