ZocdocAnswersShould I get a flu shot if I am pregnant?

Question

Should I get a flu shot if I am pregnant?

I never usually get a flu shot, but I am 4 months pregnant and I'm afraid I will get sick this winter. Should I get a flu shot if I am pregnant to make sure that I don't get sick??

Answer

Maintaining a healthy pregnancy is important for you and for your baby. Current guidelines suggest that pregnant women should get a flu shot if they will be pregnant during flu season, typically November through the early winter. Even if you have never had the flu before, being pregnant can put you at much higher risk for complications should you get the flu this year. Pregnancy does place an increased demand on your heart and lungs, as your blood volume slowly expands to account for the blood supply to your baby. People who are most at risk for bad outcomes with influenza infection (and secondary infections that can follow) are those with any underlying cardiac or pulmonary stressors. This includes people with heart disease, asthma or COPD, and pregnant women. In addition, infections of any kind, including the flu, are known to sometimes induce early labor and other complications with delivery. The only reasons not to get a flu shot are if you are allergic to eggs or if you have had a complication with a vaccine such as Guillan-Barre syndrome. The best thing to do is to make an appointment with your doctor. He or she can discuss any concerns you have about the flu shot, and you should be able to get a vaccination at the office.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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