The question comes up every fall: Should pregnant women get the flu shot? On one hand, a flu shot could save your unborn baby's life. On the other hand, a lot of us feel squeamish about flu vaccines in general, even more so during pregnancy. What's in that thing, and should we really be getting vaccinated while we're pregnant? In fact, while vaccinations are up for most people, expecting moms are still very resistant. Only about half of pregnant women get the flu shot. So now doctors are working to get the word out: The flu shot is perfectly safe during pregnancy. Here's why.
It doesn't cause miscarriage. According to a study of pregnant women tracked between 2009 and 2011, women who were vaccinated for the H1N1 virus were no more likely to suffer a miscarriage than women who were not vaccinated.
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It doesn't cause birth defects or affect birth weight. In another study of 4,191 pregnant women, vaccinated women were no more likely to deliver a baby with birth defects than unvaccinated women.
It doesn't cause premature birth. In one study, vaccinated women on average delivered their babies three days earlier than non-vaccinated women, but doctors are not concerned about this small difference. In another study, vaccinated women actually delivered later than unvaccinated women.
It doesn't cause complications. Yet another study shows that the flu vaccine is not tied to pregnancy complications like high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, or urinary tract infections.
Of course, you should still talk with your doctor before getting vaccinated. You may have some special concerns that make you an exception. But in study after study, doctors are not finding a risk for getting vaccinated during pregnancy.
Are you worried about getting vaccinated against the flu while pregnant?
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