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Q&A: Flu Shots and Pregnancy

Q. I'm in my 6th month of pregnancy, and everyone at work seems to be coming down with the flu. Is it safe to get a flu shot?

A. Step right up. There is no evidence that a flu shot is harmful to an unborn baby. The Centers for Disease Control recommends that all pregnant women get a flu vaccine. At the beginning of the flu season (October-March) some health care providers may hesitate to send women in their 1st trimester of pregnancy for flu shots, but there is no need to worry. The benefits of getting a flu shot far outweigh the risk of contracting influenza. Women in their 2nd and 3rd trimesters may be more susceptible to respiratory diseases because their immune systems are altered during pregnancy. The last thing you need now -- just when things are starting to calm down and you have more energy -- is a week in bed with the flu.

Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.

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