Pregnant women shy away from taking flu shots at this critical juncture as they aren’t sure the shot won’t leave them with side-effects. Perhaps they are right. But there are solid reasons for them to take the flu shot than hope they won’t end up with the flu.
Reasons for pregnant women to take flu shots:
- A flu shot is the best way of keeping a pregnant woman and her fetus away from the flu
- If pregnant women take the flu shot, their babies will be protected from the flu until age six months
- During pregnancy, women undergo several changes to their immune system that could make them very sick if they contract the flu
- Getting the flu increases your risk of having an early labor.
- Newborns are at risk of chronic illness and death due to flu.
Impact of flu shots on babies:
People are often worried about flu shots having a negative impact on the fetus; however, these worries are baseless. According to studies, thousands of women subjects were given the flu vaccine during pregnancy. This did not raise their risk for an early delivery or one with birth defects, compared to women who were not vaccinated. On the contrary, researchers found that those women who received the flu vaccination during pregnancy were not as likely to have a stillbirth as compared those who refused vaccination.
When to take flu shots:
Women can take the flu shot at any point of their pregnancy. This will give them and their baby adequate protection from the flu. In fact, pregnant women need not worry about the safety of taking this vaccination during pregnancy because they are safe.
Can flu shots cause miscarriage?
According to studies, women who took the flu shot during pregnancy did not have a higher propensity for miscarriage. Health and safety practitioners strongly recommend that pregnant women take the flu shot at any point of their pregnancy. This helps to prevent them catching the flu that would need hospitalization and chronic illness for pregnant women.
Side effects of flu shots:
The side-effects pregnant women experience after taking a flu shot are the same as others experience. They are usually mild and include the following:
- Soreness, inflammation and swelling
- Muscle pain
- Exhaustion and nausea
Ways to lower risk of flu:
Here are a few ways by which you can reduce the risk of flu shots:
- Reduce contact with sick people.
- If you fall sick, use a tissue to sneeze or cough.
- Do not touch your nose, eyes and mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water after you touch people.
- Ensure you do not share plates, glasses, utensils or dishes used by those with flu.
- Take the flu shot between October and May.
Apart from all the above precautions, you can also use natural treatments for flu during your pregnancy. These include sucking on throat lozenges, using an air humidifier to relieve the air congestion in the home. Rest a lot and drink plenty of fluids too.