Pregnant Women Pregnant Women
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
If you’re pregnant, a flu shot is your best protection against serious illness from the flu. A flu shot can protect pregnant women, their unborn babies, and even their babies after birth.
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 illness from the flu.
The flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women who are not pregnant. Changes during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from flu, causing hospitalizations or even death. Pregnant women with the flu also have a greater chance for serious problems for their 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, fun video that explains why!
The Flu and Pregnant Women
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 as well as hospitalizations and even death. A pregnant woman with flu also has a greater chance for serious problems for her unborn baby, including miscarriage or preterm birth.
The Flu Shot is the Best Protection against Flu
Getting a flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting against flu. The flu shot given during pregnancy has been shown to protect both the mother and her baby (up to 6 months old) from flu. (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 the pregnant woman and her unborn child from serious illness and complications of flu. 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.
Having a fever caused by flu infection or other infections early in pregnancy can lead to birth defects in an unborn child. Pregnant women who get a fever should treat their fever with Tylenol® (or store brand equivalent) 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 Confusion Severe or persistent vomiting High fever that is not responding to Tylenol® (or store brand equivalent) Decreased or no movement of your baby