Women's Health: Postpartum Community
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Avatar universal

Flu Shot

What do you guys think about getting a flu shot while pregnant? There is a lot of hype about the lack of flu shots this winter and in listing the priority people to get a shot it said, "women who will be pregnant during influenza season". I had figured I wouldn't get one this year (I do every year) because I was pregnant so now I'm confused. What have you guys done in the past? Thanks.
20 Responses
Avatar universal
My own OB told me not to get it since it is so close to my own due date. He said he would hate for me to get a fever from it or have nay other complications because then we might have to push back the date of my surgery.

HOWEVER, my DH is getting it as is my DD and I have asked my MIL to get it since she will also be around the baby alot. He is being born right in the middle of cold and flu season and I wanted those who intended to be around him frequently (or live with him) to be vaccinated since he and I can't this season.
Avatar universal
That makes a lot of sense. I think I'll call my OB on Monday when he is back from vacation and see what he thinks. Thank you.
Avatar universal
If you are past 14 weeks of pregnancy, most OB's do recommend getting a flu shot.  Contracting the flu during pregnancy can make you more ill than you might otherwise be, and put your health and that of your baby at risk.  

I don't know how the current restrictions on getting the flu shot (high risk groups only) will affect whether pregnant women can even GET the flu shot.  

This is a question for your OB, but it IS generally recommended to go ahead and get it once you are past the first trimester.
Avatar universal
Thanks Christie. My first trimester ends the week of November 15th. Do you know if that is too late to get a flu shot?
Avatar universal
Nope--actually my doctor won't give me one until mid to the end of November.  

(I'm high risk due to hypertension, cancer and asthma)
Avatar universal
Thanks again. Hopefully there will be enough to go around. With you being high risk, I hope you get it!
Avatar universal
I wanted to clarify that I wasn't saying you SHOULD NOT get the shot, just that my own OB told me not too!

But I will be delivering right about the time most Dr's are going to START giving out the shots,so not much help for me anyway!

I wonder how strict they are being about ONLY giving it to those in the "high risk" category??? My DH called his PCP and explained that I was due in cold/flu season and they said he meets the criteria. But I have seen different things in different places for what "high risk" category means as far as those who will get the shot first. Either way, apparently we qualify just by having a newborn in the house!

My DD didn't fall into the "high risk" category (healthy school children don't qualify for the shot), but her pedi is giving it to her as well beacuse of the baby beign in the house. I was a little concerned about this, I would think that it would be important for school children to get the shot to avoid sick days!

Anywho, along the same lines.....Christie (or anyone), are there any special precautions I should take once the baby comes home when my DD gets home from school? Other than the obvious one of making her wash her hands.
Avatar universal
Thanks fro posting this I was wondering too. DD is in Pre-school and I want ther to get it but I am not sure due to the lack of the immunoglobulin IgA in her system. I need to find a specialist who would know about these things. I also plan on asking my doc when I see him next week.
Avatar universal
I didn't think you were telling her not to get one, I understand your doc not wanting to confuse things by giving you one right before you deliver.

Good handwashing is the #1 thing you can do to prevent the spread of cold and flu bugs.  Keep a lot of Kleenex on hand and be sure DD uses them and understands the importance of washing her hands often.  Most babies will have important immunities from mom, and don't get sick easily.  

Don't play pass the baby around anytime soon!  Make all visitors wash their hands, and ask those not feeling well not to visit.  I would let tons of little kids visit or handle the baby in the early days, either.

I'd personally want DH and DD to get a flu shot just in case, but can't remember if you said they were getting one or not.

Ask your ped if there is anything else to do once you get home.  

Can you tell I'm trying hard to avoid doing housework this morning???? LOL!
Avatar universal
I'm getting such mixed answers from the women I know. Most say not to get the shot, but I just read that getting the flu during pregnancy can lead to schizophrenia in the child. Not a happy thought.
On another note, how are you feeling. What symptoms are you having right now?
Avatar universal
Doing good. The only thing I am dealing with now is the fatigue and not being able to sleep. Oh and the sore bb's. Other that that I am good I can't wait till my appt. on the 20th.
Avatar universal
What is on the 20th? I am having my first u/s on the 20th. I'm a nervous wreck. That's how I found out the last time that the baby had stopped growing. But my numbers have been doing really well and I have queasiness this time that I didn't have last time, so hopefully it will all go well.
Avatar universal
It is just a nromal appt but I just like going to the doc it is very reassuring to me that all is well. I wish they would do a u/s but my doc likes to wait until 20 weeks unless you have bleeding or or bad symptoms. So I guess that is ok lol. Make sure you let me know how your u/s goes.
Avatar universal
I think b/c of the m/c they are having me go early. I will definitely let you know. I had trouble sleeping with my last pregnancy. With this one, the progesterone I take right before bed seems to help me sleep. Must not help with your fatigue to get a bad nights sleep. Hope it gets better for you.
Avatar universal
Thanks for the advice Christie. I am extremely nervous about the "pass the baby" issue with my MIL. She wants her WHOLE family there at the hospital! My neighbor (a NICU nurse) told me to let the nurses be the bad guys and ask them to tell family that it's not safe to pass the baby around alot so early.

As for DD, I will be sure and have her wash her hands alot before then so she gets into the habit!!!
Avatar universal
Ok girls.  I am going to give you what I know.  I spoke with my nurse too to make sure my information is correct.  I see a lot of false information on here and this is an important topic.

YOU NEED THE FLU SHOT.  This virus produces very high temperatures that can cause birth defects!!!  The flu shot is no longer a live virus and NO LONGER makes you sick once you get it.  You can get the shot at any point in your pregnancy.  It is up to your doctor whether or not you should get it if you are close to delivering.  But there is no such thing as too early.

Take care of your babies.  Do not just assume your doctor is all knowing.  What we do know is that high temperatures (virus, hot tubs, heating pads etc) cause birth defects.  Take it upon yourself to do what you feel is right.

Good luck, momttc  5weeks getting flu shot tomorrow
Avatar universal
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a flu shot for women who will be more than three months pregnant during the flu season. In North America, the influenza season is usually from October to May. Because the flu shot is made from a killed (inactivated) virus, many experts consider it safe during any stage of pregnancy. But experts have traditionally not recommended having the flu shot during the first trimester.

Pregnancy affects the immune system of the mother, as well as puts extra strain on her cardiovascular system. These factors increase the risk of complications from influenza. Pregnant women are more likely to need hospitalization for treatment of complications from the flu than are nonpregnant women of the same age.

The CDC recommends that pregnant women who have a medical condition that also puts them at higher risk of complications from influenza, such as asthma or diabetes, get a flu shot before the flu season
Avatar universal
Thank you Christie for posting outstanding information. One very easy way to help with a fever...tylenol. It is proven to be safe during pregnancy, which is more than can be said for the flu vaccine in the first trimester. I didn't get my shot last year as I was in my first trimester. I came down with the flu and kept my fever at bay with tylenol and cool towels.

It is always up to us to be informed, but for the most part the doctor's are correct. We have all heard of quack doctors, but most are not, nor are the uniformed as a general rule. None of us here have gone to medical school, taken our boards or are licensed to practice medicine and therefor any decision you make must be based on what you and your doctor agree is right.

Avatar universal
I will be calling the doctor and see what he says. Thanks so much for all of your feedback. I am leaning towards wanting it. Especially since I will be out of my first trimester in time to get the shot. I'm being optimistic that I'll get there :o)
Avatar universal
Thanks guys I too am leaning towards it and will be out of my first trimester.

Debra - I will let you know what info my doc gives me next wednesday.
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