Pregnancy and the flu: vaccines becoming available

National Infant Mortality Awareness Month

With the 2011-2012 flu season just around the corner, the  flu vaccine  is becoming more readily available. Because of a reduced immune system and changes to the heart and lungs during pregnancy, expectant moms are more prone to the flu and are a priority  population for receiving a vaccine.

The flu shot — but not the nasal spray — is safe for most pregnant women and has shown to protect mom and her baby (up to six months old).

Flu symtoms include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Fatigue and tiredness

The CDC recommends calling 911 if you have the following signs:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • High fever that is not responding to Tylenol® (or store brand equivalent)
  • Decreased or no movement of your baby

For more information, visit the CDC’s Flu Web site.