Understanding your body’s immune system during pregnancy

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can affect people of all ages and lead to various symptoms and complications. Typical flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, fatigue, and sometimes vomiting or diarrhea.

Many women wonder, “Can you get a flu shot while pregnant?” If you’re expecting a little bundle of joy, one of your most significant concerns is maintaining your health and that of your unborn child. At Family Creations, we have over fifteen years of experience creating families through egg donation and gestational surrogacy. This article sheds light on what the flu shot does and how it focuses on helping the body’s immune system during pregnancy. We always recommend clients talk to their doctor about any risks of not receiving the flu shot.

Getting a flu shot while pregnant. Is it safe?

YES! We cannot stress this enough. If you are pregnant, please get a flu vaccination. Numerous studies and research support the safety of flu shots during pregnancy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) have shown that you can get a flu shot while pregnant, and they recommend that all pregnant women get the shot before the flu season. If you are on the fence about getting a flu shot because you hate shots or don’t want to experience side effects from the vaccine, consider some of the health benefits.

Image of a calendar with a flu shot reminder.

Health benefits of the flu shot for pregnant women

First, the protection you get from the flu vaccine doesn’t only protect you from the nasty virus; it also passes on to the baby you are carrying. During pregnancy, your immune system is lowered, so the vaccine protects the baby and minimizes symptoms. If a mother gets a flu shot during pregnancy, it protects the baby after birth. This fact is essential since babies under six months are too young to get vaccinated against the flu. Research shows that when the mother (or the surrogate mother) receives a flu shot, there is a 70 percent less chance of the baby getting the virus.

Which is more dangerous? The flu or the flu shot?

There’s no doubt about it: the flu can be harmful to mother and baby, causing low birth weight, premature birth, stillbirth, hospitalization, or, in some dire circumstances, death. The flu shot is safe while pregnant, and it doesn’t matter your trimester. A few seconds of pain is worth increased health for you and the baby.

Changes in the Body’s Immune System during Pregnancy

The immune system is a network of cells, tissues, and organs working together to defend the body against harmful invaders. During pregnancy, your immune system changes to accommodate and protect you and your baby. Despite these adjustments, pregnant women are more susceptible to severe illness from flu due to changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs.

When to Get a Flu Shot During Pregnancy

Although getting a flu shot while pregnant is always safe, the best time is before flu season begins, ideally between late September and late October. However, getting vaccinated later in flu season can still be beneficial. Consult your healthcare provider to determine the best time for you.

Common Concerns About Flu Shots During Pregnancy

Many misconceptions about flu shots and a woman’s immune system during pregnancy exist, causing unnecessary fear and anxiety. Some believe that the flu vaccine can induce miscarriage, but studies have debunked this myth. The flu shot has been given to millions of pregnant women with a good safety record over many years. We cannot stress it enough: getting a flu shot while pregnant is safe!

Learn More About Family Creations

Remember, knowledge is power, especially regarding your health and your unborn child. Stay informed, stay healthy! Contact us to learn more about Family Creations, our egg donors, and gestational surrogates. With offices around the US, we’re never far away.

by Julia McConnell | Posted on : February 28, 2024