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Flu and Pregnancy

Pregnant womanPregnant womanPregnancy puts you at much higher risk than most people for complications from flu.

Normally, people who get the flu recover within a few days to two weeks. But for a few, the flu can lead to life-threatening complications such as pneumonia and even death.

The good news is that there are things you can do to help protect yourself from the flu. The first is to get vaccinated for flu. Talk to your health care provider about the vaccine and other ways to stay healthy.

The American College of Obstetricians-Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women receive the seasonal inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV).

Learn as much as you can, not only to protect yourself, but to protect your baby after he or she is born. Infants from birth to 6 months of age are too young to get flu vaccines. And the flu can lead to dangerous health problems for infants.

Also, make sure to learn the urgent warning signs of flu that indicate the need for immediate medical attention.

Pregnant womanFlu Vaccines During Pregnancy

Flu vaccines are your best protection against the flu. People who are in greater danger of life-threatening health problems from influenza should get vaccinated as soon as possible. If you are pregnant, this includes you.

It is safe for pregnant women to receive the inactivated flu vaccine. The inactivated flu vaccine is available only as an injection (shot). Pregnant women should not take the flu vaccines in nasal mist form.

To learn where you can get flu vaccines in your community, see DHEC's Flu Vaccine Finder Web page.

Flu Vaccines Protect Your Baby

Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you, it helps protect your baby. Remember, babies younger than 6 months of age can't be vaccinated for flu.
In fact, anyone who lives in your home or who will care for your baby should also be vaccinated against influenza.

For more information, see these CDC resources on flu vaccines in pregnancy:

Stay Healthy while Traveling

If you are planning to travel internationally, talk to your health professional about flu vaccines and any other immunizations you may need, and see the CDC's Traveling While Pregnant website.

Get Tips on Easing the Symptoms of Flu

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