Does Getting The Flu Shot During Pregnancy Protect The Baby? An Expert Explains The Biggest Benefit
Through all the pokes and prods mothers-to-be have to endure to protect their growing baby, perhaps none seems as optional as a flu shot. After all, it's just the flu and we've all had to deal with a case at some point in our lifetime. It can't kill you, right? But doctors are becoming more insistent that pregnant women subject themselves to one more needle for a variety of reasons, but one that stands out is that the flu shot during pregnancy can protect your baby.
When asked about if the flu shot could protect your baby, Dr. Christina Greves, an OB-GYN at Orlando's Winnie Palmer Hospital, tells Romper, "I would say so. Getting the flu in pregnancy is bad — very bad — because pregnant women have an increased risk of hospitalization and it increases the risk of the baby. Getting the vaccine can help, and it all depends on how somebody presents from the flu."
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that thanks to changes in immunity and organ function, pregnant women are more susceptible to dangerous cases of seasonal influenza during the second and third trimesters, and there are also risks to the fetus. A flu shot is the most dependable means to protect both mother and child, the agency continues, because it cuts the mother's risk of severe respiratory problems in half. Not only are women protecting their babies in utero, but that vaccination carries over immunity to the virus for the baby's first few months of life when they are unable to be vaccinated themselves. With guarantees like that, who wouldn't do it?