Catching the flu is never good, and especially not when you’re expecting. The illness can be more severe when you’re pregnant, and it may last three times longer in moms-to-be. You may be more likely to get complications like pneumonia, too.
On the bright side, it isn’t likely to hurt your baby. And being pregnant doesn’t make you any more likely to get the flu than women your age who aren’t expecting. Best of all, there are easy ways to avoid it and have a healthy pregnancy.
What's the Best Way to Prevent the Flu?
Flu season can begin as early as October and last as late as May. October or November is the best time to get vaccinated, but you can get a shot as late as January.
The shot will protect both you and the baby from getting the flu for 6 months after you give birth. This is especially important, because the flu shot isn’t safe for infants less than 6 months old.
Is the Flu Shot Safe?
The flu shot is also OK while you’re breastfeeding. It can’t cause you or your nursing baby to get sick. The shot takes about 2 weeks to work.
Pregnant women should not get the nasal flu vaccine.
Where Do You Get a Flu Shot?
There’s also a nasal flu vaccine called FluMist that contains live but weakened viruses. The nasal flu vaccine is not recommended during pregnancy because it hasn’t been tested in pregnant women. The FluMist nasal vaccine can be used in other healthy people between 2 and 49 years old.