There are many questions that arise during pregnancy. What is the right diet to maintain? Is it safe to have food from restaurants? Is it safe to go out, especially in such times of a pandemic? However, one of the questions that have always been raised, even before the COVID-19 pandemic, is: Is it safe for pregnant women to get a flu shot? The definitive answer is, YES! It is safe for pregnant women to get a flu shot regardless of their trimester.
In fact, the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pregnant women to take a flu shot during the flu season. There are 3 primary reasons for this:
- Prevent maternity complications: Taking the shot reduces the chances of a pregnant woman catching the flu, and it also helps in avoiding maternity complications. It is always better to be safe than sorry, especially in times like these!
- Prevent potential fetal health problems due to the flu: Taking the shot reduces the chances of fetal health problems, especially by reducing the chances of contracting a fever due to the flu. If a pregnant woman has the flu, then there are added risks of fetal birth defects.
- Protect your newborn child: If you take a flu shot before the birth of your child, it will ensure that you are protecting your child even after their birth. The antibodies developed in your body will pass through the placenta, including breast milk. Hence, your child will be safe from the flu, even if the child hasn’t received their first flu shot yet (a child can get their flu vaccine until they are 6 months old).
While this is true for common flu, it might not always be the case for the COVID-19 vaccine. This is because the COVID-19 vaccine has a very different composition and a very different form. In this case, it is advised to consult a Gynecologist to know more about when a pregnant woman can take the COVID-19 vaccine. In the case that you are suffering from COVID-19/flu symptoms during pregnancy, it is also better to reach out to doctors on an Online Doctor Consultation platform, while also meeting your gynecologist.
With the sudden spike in cases of COVID-19, especially in India, it is vital to take care of your body at all times, particularly for pregnant women. By adhering to the COVID-19 norms at all times, your health and your baby’s health can be assured with the proper diet and rest.