"We continue to recommend a flu vaccination for pregnant women during any trimester," says Catherine Passaretti, MD, medical director of infectious disease at Carolinas HealthCare System. “Especially as earlier studies have found no link between flu vaccination and miscarriages.”

Child Health, Women's Health, News | 2 months ago

Pregnant? Don't Skip the Flu Shot

Since flu symptoms can be more severe during pregnancy, it’s important for expectant mothers to get their flu shot. 

Flu season is upon us, which also brings about messages urging every American to roll up their sleeves for their flu shot. One group that especially shouldn’t skip the flu shot is expectant mothers.

Carolinas HealthCare System and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stand by their recommendation that pregnant women – maybe more than any other group – should get a flu shot. This comes despite the findings of a recent study, published in the journal Vaccine, which found a hint of a link between the flu vaccination and miscarriages.

"We continue to recommend a flu vaccination for pregnant women during any trimester," says Catherine Passaretti, MD, medical director of infectious disease at Carolinas HealthCare System. “Especially as earlier studies have found no link between flu vaccination and miscarriages.”

Rather, multiple studies have shown that having the flu during pregnancy can be dangerous to pregnant women and their developing babies. Expectant mothers are more prone to severe illness from the flu, due to changes in their immune systems, and this can put them at a higher risk of hospitalization. The CDC notes that severe illness during pregnancy can also cause significant problems such as premature labor and delivery.

When given during pregnancy, flu shots have been shown to protect both mother and baby from serious flu-related complications. Since babies cannot be vaccinated until six months of age, a mother's flu vaccination during pregnancy can help safeguard the baby from the virus several months after birth.

The bottom line: don’t skip the flu shot if you’re expecting.