Pregnant Women Need a Flu Shot!
Protect Yourself & Your Baby from Whooping Cough
Pertussis (whooping cough) is very contagious and can cause serious illness―especially in babies too young to be fully vaccinated. If you have not been previously vaccinated with Tdap (the whooping cough booster shot), talk with your doctor about getting one dose of Tdap, preferably during the third trimester or late second trimester – or immediately after delivery before leaving the hospital or birthing center with your newborn. Learn more about vaccine protection for pertussis.
If you're pregnant, a flu shot is your best protection against serious illnesses caused by the flu.
The flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from flu, which can lead to hospitalization or even death. A pregnant woman with the flu also has a greater chance of serious problems for her unborn baby, including miscarriage or preterm birth.
A flu shot can protect pregnant women, their unborn babies, and even the baby after birth.
Watch a short video that explains why.
The Flu Shot is the Best Protection against Flu
Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. When given during pregnancy, the flu shot has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby (up to 6 months old) from flu. The flu shot is safe to get at any time while you are pregnant, during any trimester. (The nasal spray vaccine should not be given to women who are pregnant.) Learn more about the flu vaccine.
The Flu Shot is Safe for Pregnant Women
Flu shots are a safe way to protect pregnant women and their unborn children from serious illness and complications of flu, like pneumonia. The flu shot has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years. Flu shots have not been shown to cause harm to pregnant women or their babies. It is very important for pregnant women to get the flu shot.
Other Preventive Actions
In addition to getting the flu shot, pregnant women should take additional everyday preventive actions.
Early Treatment is Important for Pregnant Women
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. If needed, the doctor will prescribe an antiviral medicine that treats the flu.
Pregnant women who get a fever should treat it with a fever-reducing medicine containing acetaminophen (such as Tylenol®) and contact their doctor as soon as possible.
When to Seek Emergency Medical Care
If you have any of these signs, call 911 right away:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- High fever that is not responding to Tylenol® (or store brand equivalent)
- Decreased or no movement of your baby
- Pregnant Women & Influenza (Flu)
- Key Facts about Seasonal Flu Vaccine
- Pregnant Women: Are You Up-to-Date on Your Vaccinations?
- Seasonal Flu
- Pregnancy and Flu e-Card
CDC works 24/7 saving lives and protecting people from health threats to have a more secure nation. A US federal agency, CDC helps make the healthy choice the easy choice by putting science and prevention into action. CDC works to help people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.
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