Ob/Gyns say the best prevention this flu season is to get vaccinated.
Deadlines are piling up at work. Your older kid signed you up for a dozen items at the school holiday party. Your younger kid’s daycare has informed you that a stomach bug is going around. Your Christmas shopping list doesn’t have a dent in it. You’re stressed to the max. We’ve all been there. Then, you wake up one morning and realize… you don’t feel good. Your body aches, your head hurts, you’re tired, you’re coughing; and you probably have a fever, but you’re too exhausted to check.
During the busiest season of all, you’ve got the flu. Then, regret sets in. If only you’d have paused a moment to get that flu shot. “But, my schedule was so busy!” That was true. But if you’d have stopped to get that flu shot, you might not be missing work or calling in reinforcements to get the kiddos where they need to be. And the school holiday party? Well, the husband’s going to have to grab packaged cookies for the win.
Instead of this scenario, AWH Dallas and its healthcare professionals encourage women to take a break and get a flu shot.
The Importance of Getting Your Flu Shot When Pregnant
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “the flu causes U.S. employees to miss approximately 17 million workdays due to flu, at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.”
Your healthcare providers at AWH Dallas are thrilled to offer flu shots to our pregnant patients. Please make an appointment today to get this important vaccination.
Symptoms of the Flu Include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Body aches
Flu season runs from October through mid-May, and the ideal time to get a vaccine is October-November, says the National Center for Biotechnology Information. However, it’s never too late during flu season to get a flu shot.
Why Flu Shots are Important for Pregnant Women
Flu vaccinations are safe during any trimester. Pregnant women should get flu shots for many reasons. First, flu is more likely to cause severe illness in expecting moms due to their weakened immune systems. Illness can last up to two weeks postpartum, too.
Another major reason pregnant women should get flu shots: soon-to-be moms frequent hospitals and doctors offices, where sick people congregate. The CDC reports that getting a flu shot cuts the risk of getting the flu in half, which is excellent protection for pregnant people having to be in germy public spaces.
Flu Shots: Important for Your Unborn Baby
Fever, a common flu symptom, is associated with neural tube defects and other adverse outcomes, according to the CDC. But antibodies from the flu shot circulate to the baby during pregnancy. This is a mother’s only chance to protect her new baby from the flu, as babies can’t get a flu shot until 6 months after birth. There are no effective ways to treat the flu in infants, so prevention is key.
Many healthcare professionals recommend that all family members who will be in contact with the baby get vaccinated two weeks before meeting the baby.
What to Do When Pregnant and Experiencing Symptoms of the Flu
It’s best to get treated as soon as possible. In a 2009 study, if women waited four or more days before seeking treatment, they were 50 percent more likely to end up in the ICU.
In conclusion, prevention is the best step any mother can take to protect herself, her family and, in the case of pregnant women, her unborn baby from the flu. Take a moment to pause during this busy season and get your flu shot as soon as possible. Again, we at AWH Dallas are thrilled to offer the flu vaccine to our pregnant patients.