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Calling all Supermoms: Learn the Flu Facts for Pregnancy!
by Chris Just on 09/25/2014 at 8:57 AM
Click above to hear Certified Nurse Midwife, Dr. Susan Yount, discuss Flu and TDap vaccinations during pregnancy.

Today, I look forward to every fall when I pack up the family and head to the community center for our free flu vaccine, a program supported by the town I live in.  It’s a family and community event that even my kids can appreciate—especially since we see lots of neighbors and friends and get free candy to boot!

The foolishness of my younger years has now been replaced with a true understanding and appreciation of protecting oneself and others from the terrible effects of the flu which can be severe, and even deadly.  Pregnancy poses an especially vulnerable time to be exposed to influenza due to changes in the woman’s immune system.  The risk of complications, such as pneumonia and dehydration, are higher and pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized with the flu compared to non-pregnant women.  Expecting women who receive the flu vaccine not only protect themselves but are much less likely to have a preterm birth or a baby born at a low birth weight. 

The injectable, inactive flu vaccine is safe anytime during your pregnancy.  The nasal spray flu vaccine, however, includes live virus and is not recommended for pregnant women.  If you are vaccinated during pregnancy, you decrease your baby’s risk of getting the flu for up to 6 months after birth at which time babies start to receive their own annual vaccine.

So be a supermom—don a cape, make a muscle, and get that flu shot to help protect yourself, your baby, your family and others from the flu!

For more information on vaccines during pregnancy, check out this video with South Shore Hospital nurse-midwife, Susan Yount, and take a peek at the American College of Nurse-Midwives’ Supermom materials, including FAQs About the Flu.     

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