The flu shot has proven to be very safe for pregnant women and will bring protection to the unborn baby for the first six months of the child's life.
Pregnant women are always concerned about doing what is best for their baby. Many are concerned about the medications they take, the food they eat and the activities that they are involved in. It is important to be vigilant in what your body goes through during pregnancy because you have another person to think about when considering all of your decisions. Some pregnant women might be even cautious on shots that they take while they're pregnant in fear of it hurting their fetus. It is important to note that research has proven that the flu shot is safe for pregnant women.
An Ottawa study studied 104,000 children born in Ontario in November 2009 and October 2010 (during the swine flu pandemic). The studied showed that 31,295 children born to mothers who received the flu vaccine were just as healthy as the 79,954 children born to mothers who didn’t take it. The researchers wanted to see if the mother's vaccination played a role in the health of the children during the first five years of their lives. “This is a large study and it clearly shows that there were no harmful effects on the longer-term health of children when a pregnant woman got the flu shot,” said CHEO Research Institute scientist, Dr. Deshayne Fell, a senior author of the study.
The study has shown that the flu vaccine does not pose any additional risks to the mother and her unborn children. It has shown to be safe. Even though multiple studies have proven the flu shot to be safe during pregnancy, in Canada, only 20% of pregnant women opt to get vaccinated. Many avoid the shot because of safety concerns. The antibodies from the flu shot absolutely cross the placenta, but that is a good thing. The antibodies will provide protection to not only the mother but the baby too! The immunity is called passive immunity that brings protection to the child for the first six months of their lives.
Health statistics have shown that children who are dying from flu-related illnesses are at it's highest when the children are under six months old. Therefore, if more mothers were to receive the flu shot it might decrease the number of children dying from the flu before they are even six months old. Children are unable to get the flu shot until they are six months old, so the only way to protect them from the flu is to get it while pregnant.
Experts are encouraging women to get the flu shot to bring protection not only for themselves but also their child as well. It is very safe and it does not pose any safety concerns for the unborn child.