Vaccine safe to prevent flu in pregnancy

Flu in pregnancy a dangerous combination, doctors say

flu during pregnancy can be severe

Pregnant women should receive the flu vaccine, but not necessarily because of results from a study tentatively linking autism with flu in pregnancy, OB/GYNs at The Austin Diagnostic Clinic say.

The new Danish study found that children whose mothers had the flu during pregnancy were slightly more likely to be diagnosed with a form of autism before they turned three. But the overall risk for autism was not higher than other kids.

The study’s authors say their work is early, and were quoted as saying the findings are not something people should worry about.

However, the flu is still a dangerous disease, and doctors say everyone should take steps to protect themselves from the flu virus.

Dr. Yvette Gutierrez-Schieffer, an OB/GYN at ADC, says flu during pregnancy is already risky because of the potential complications.

Pregnant women are among the groups identified as high-risk by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Body changes in women when they are pregnant make them more prone to severe illness. There is also a higher chance of complications for the unborn baby.

In fact, flu during pregnancy is 5 times more likely to cause severe illness and it can also increase the risk of premature labor and delivery.

Dr. Gutierrez-Schieffer says women who are pregnant should get the flu vaccine as well as anyone who will be around an infant when they are born.

Flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy. It’s been given to millions of pregnant women over the past 10 years, and it is not known to cause any harm to pregnant women or their babies.

In fact, recent research shows:

  • Flu vaccine during pregnancy can protect newborns for several months after they are born
  • Flu shots do not cause miscarriage

The vaccine can be given during any trimester, but pregnant women should only receive inactivated vaccine (flu shot) not the live attenuated vaccine (nasal spray).