Should a pregnant woman get the flu vaccine?

The flu shot can be given any time in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Mom and the whole family should get the vaccine every season to help protect baby.

The flu can be deadly for mom because mom’s immune system isn’t as strong during pregnancy.

A recent study questioned if there were miscarriage risks in a second pregnancy if the woman had the flu vaccine in both the first and second pregnancy. The results, based on very few cases, did not agree with several other studies. The CDC and other professional organizations continue to support flu vaccines for pregnant women.

What other immunizations do pregnant women need?

Whooping cough can be deadly for baby. Everyone who comes into contact with the baby should also keep up-to- date on the Tdap, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and other vaccines to help protect baby. Pregnant women should get the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough) vaccine in the third trimester of every pregnancy to give baby a boost of immunity for the first few months of life.

If mom has never had chicken pox, she should try to get the varicella vaccine before she gets
pregnant to protect her from having chicken pox during her pregnancy and causing complications
for the developing baby.

If mom needs to travel to other countries, she can check with her healthcare provider about the travel vaccines she will need for those countries.

If mom is worried about the preservative (thiomersal), she can get preservative-free vaccines. Remember, thimerosal and vaccines do not cause autism.