“The Flu” is a severe respiratory illness caused by the Influenza virus. Fever, body aches, cough and congestion that lasts 5-10 days are common symptoms of the flu. Pregnant women represent about 1% of the population, however during flu season, pregnant women account for almost 10% of hospitalizations related to flu. Pregnant women are more likely to have severe complications from the flu due to changes in the heart and lungs during pregnancy. In addition, pregnant women who contract flu are at increased risk for preterm labor and complications with birth.
It is also important to have your spouse and other caregivers vaccinated, as well as other children living in the house
Lastly, babies cannot receive the flu vaccine until they are 6 months old. During pregnancy, maternal antibodies cross over to the baby and remain in the baby’s bloodstream for approximately 4-6 months after birth. The antibodies protect the baby from disease. By getting the flu vaccine during pregnancy, you can also help to protect your new baby, especially if they will be born during flu season.
The flu vaccine is composed of pieces of the flu virus, and is injected into the arm. YOU CANNOT GET THE FLU FROM THE FLU VACCINE. The CDC has studied the vaccine during pregnancy and it has not shown to increase the risk of birth defects or cause early labor. The CDC recommends that all pregnant women are vaccinated for the flu.
The nasal spray is a live vaccine that is NOT RECOMMENDED for pregnant women.
Link to CDC website - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm