Should pregnant women get a flu shot?

I just wrapped up my 28 week appointment with my doctor when she asked me a question I hadn’t thought of. “You’re getting the flu shot, right?”  As I kind of stared off a bit dumbfounded I responded with a simple I don’t know, I guess. To me, flu shots have never really been my thing. I got a couple  many years ago and actually ended up getting the flu, which kinda made them pointless to me. How ironic right? Even though I have been fortunate to have a pretty tough immune system and not get sick during the cold and flu season, I am no longer making decisions for myself as I have a little one growing inside of me.

“I always say it’s better to have a flu shot than the actual flu,” my doctor added.

Good point.

Though I am not hard-pressed to say no to medical recommendations, I do know of many women who are against optional treatments. After all the flu shots contain strands of the flu virus that may or may not work so why even bother with it? Yet there’s something about being pregnant and getting the flu that scares me a bit – so like any good mother-to-be does, when you don’t know you ask somebody.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) strongly recommends that all pregnant women get a flu shot. For starters, it protects you from the risk of getting the flu which is kinda a given but also has other benefits us mothers in waiting might want to give a second thought. Our immune systems as a whole during pregnancy is not as strong as it was when it was just us. This leaves us more likely to get things like a cold and even the flu. Should the latter of the two happen, it poses serious risk for both us and our unborn bundle of joy.

Well dang I wish I would have known something like this to begin with but I guess I am going to learn today. Here I am thinking that if I got the flu it would have me laid up in the bed for a few weeks with other symptoms, but as it turns out there is much more to consider. Dr. Roger W. Harms notes that getting the flu during pregnancy can cause miscarriage and even premature labor. On the flip side, having the flu shot can actually protect your baby even outside of the womb. “The antibodies you develop will pass through the placenta to help protect your baby from the flu,” adds Dr. Harms. Now there’s something to consider! Who knew that a preventative shot during cold and flu season could have effects down the road?

Okay so even though I am not a fan of needles and work from home where I don’t have to worry about having people coughing up on me, I am definitely going to get a flu shot. After all there’s no harm in protecting yourself and your unborn child, right? Should you yourself be thinking about getting one, just know that the CDC strongly advises getting the actual shot (injectable form) and not the nasal spray while pregnant. You can click here to learn more information about flu shots and pregnancy.

Do you think you’ll get one?