Mom’s flu shot in pregnancy boosts newborn baby’s immunity

Doctors, CDC recommend flu vaccine for mom when baby is too young for one

Fu shots are important in pregnancy. A closeup of a woman's arm about to get a vaccine from a doctor with gloves on.

Getting a flu shot during pregnancy is one of the most important gifts you can give to yourself and your baby.

The shot is safe for pregnant women and there are fewer cases of laboratory-confirmed influenza among infants with immunized mothers.

Learn more: Only a third of pregnant women getting vaccinations they need

Getting the flu shot while pregnant is the best flu-prevention strategy available for newborns. The vaccine is not approved for use in infants less than 6 months of age so babies acquire important antibodies via mom’s circulatory system. The shot’s protection lasts for several months after birth.

Pregnancy changes the mother’s immune system, heart and lungs. These changes are normal but they make women more susceptible to the influenza virus and other illnesses during pregnancy and postpartum.

Increased risk without vaccine

  • Women diagnosed with influenza during pregnancy face an increased risk of pregnancy-related complications, including preterm labor.
  • Newborns with mothers diagnosed with influenza face increased risk of birth defects.

The CDC calls flu shots an important, safe way to protect mothers and their babies from serious illness and complications from the flu.

The CDC stresses that the flu shot has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years and has not been shown to cause harm to them or their babies.

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Posted In Health Information, Healthy Living, Immunizations, Pregnancy, Women's

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