Fact: The flu is no fun for anyone.
It's one of those royal pains in the rear that sneaks up on you at certain times throughout the year and bombards your system with aches, chills, fever, and respiratory problems. While the vast majority of people stick out the symptoms and recover from the flu with zero to very few problems at all, pregnant women can have a more difficult time kicking the illness. This is because a woman who is with child ends up having an altered immune system. It doesn't kick the yucky stuff the way it usually does. Furthermore, as a mother-to-be advances throughout her pregnancy, her lung capacity becomes compromised, and that decreased volume makes it challenging for her to clear respiratory illnesses.
Expectant ladies are considered to be in the high-risk category when it comes to the flu. Thus it is recommended that they receive a flu shot to help maintain their health during pregnancy. The flu virus not only affects the expectant mother, but it can also cause harm to the growing fetus. The flu often comes with prolonged fevers, and those fevers have been known to bring on specific congenital disabilities in infants. Expectant women who suffer from the flu in pregnancy are also at a higher risk for going into preterm labor, putting infants in further danger regarding their health.
The flu shot has been proven to be safe and effective in protecting pregnant women and their unborn against the effects of the flu virus. Medical personnel can administer the flu shot at any point during a woman's nine months of gestation, and the antibodies that pass through a mother's body to the fetus's being can protect the baby for up to six months postbirth.
Knowing that a woman and child's health is put in danger by the flu, women continue to shun the shot year after year. Last year's flu season was the worst it has been in four decades with 80,000 deaths occurring and 900,000 hospitalizations taking place. While pregnant women still shoot a wary eye at injecting anything into their bodies that are growing babies, research tells us that pregnant women who received a flu vaccination were 40 percent less likely to be hospitalized during pregnancy than pregnant women who weren't vaccinated against the illness. That's a number worth paying attention to mamas!
Of course, consult your doctor before getting the flu shot to determine if it is right for you and your baby.