All pregnant women need flu shot: Ob/Gyn group

August 19, 2014
All pregnant women need flu shot: ob/Gyn group
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says vaccination helps mother and baby.

(HealthDay)—A group representing U.S. obstetricians is calling for all pregnant women to get a flu shot.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), several studies released in recent years have upheld the safety and effectiveness of during pregnancy.

"The is highly infectious and can be particularly dangerous to , as it can cause pneumonia, premature labor, and other complications," Dr. Laura Riley, chair of the college's Immunization Expert Work Group, explained in an ACOG news release.

"Vaccination every year, early in the season and regardless of the stage of pregnancy, is the best line of defense," she advised.

The best time to get vaccinated is early in the flu season, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, the guidelines state. However, pregnant women can get a at any time during flu season, which typically lasts from October to May.

All women who are or become pregnant during the flu season should get the inactivated flu vaccine, which is also safe for women who have just given birth and those who are breast-feeding. However, pregnant women should not be given the live attenuated version of the flu vaccine (the nasal mist), according to the guidelines.

Before the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic, flu vaccination rates for pregnant women were only 15 percent. That rose to 50 percent in the 2009-2010 flu season and has been around that mark every since. However, vaccination rates could and should be even higher, according to ACOG.

Flu shots not only protect pregnant women, but their infants as well. Babies can't be given flu vaccine until they are 6 months old, but receive antibodies from their vaccinated mother while in the womb. This provides them with protection until they can be vaccinated directly.

The guidelines appear in the September issue of the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Explore further: Why aren't pregnant women getting flu vaccine?

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about pregnancy and flu vaccination.

Related Stories

Why aren't pregnant women getting flu vaccine?

August 18, 2014
Both mother and fetus are at increased risk for complications of flu infection during pregnancy. And prenatal care providers say they're advising women to get the flu vaccine, in line with recommendations from various organizations. ...

Five flu myths debunked

November 15, 2013
Scientists and flu researchers with the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Southern Research Institute shot down five common but wrong flu myths this week during an influenza seminar sponsored by the UAB Department of ...

Flu hits young, middle aged people hard this year

February 20, 2014
The flu is hitting young and middle aged people in the United States particularly hard this season, as a tough flu strain re-emerged and too few people were vaccinated, health authorities said Thursday.

CDC: Flu season starting a little more normally

December 12, 2013
Health officials say the flu season seems to be getting off to more normal start this year.

Guidelines issued for managing listeriosis in pregnancy

August 8, 2014
(HealthDay)—Recommendations have been developed for pregnant women with presumptive exposure to Listeria monocytogenes. These guidelines were published as a Committee Opinion online Aug. 5 in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Recommended for you

Does mother's mental health affect pregnancy?

September 13, 2017
(HealthDay)—Three common mental health disorders—depression, panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder—pose no serious threat to pregnant women or the health of their babies, a new study finds.

Preeclampsia may boost heart disease risk by altering blood vessels

September 12, 2017
Preeclampsia may permanently change the blood vessels of women who experience the condition during pregnancy, boosting their lifelong risk for cardiovascular disease, according to Penn State researchers.

Discovery of genes linked to preterm birth in landmark study

September 6, 2017
A massive DNA analysis of pregnant women has identified six gene regions that influence the length of pregnancy and the timing of birth. The findings, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, may lead to new ...

Older wombs linked to complications in pregnant mice

September 5, 2017
Deciding to start a family later in life could be about more than just the age of your eggs. A new study in mice suggests the age of a mother's womb may also have a part to play. This work, led by Dr Myriam Hemberger at the ...

Study suggests simple way to predict preterm births

September 4, 2017
Up to 18 percent of babies born worldwide arrive before they are full-term, defined as 37 weeks of gestation. About 1 million of those babies do not survive, and those who do can face developmental problems such as impaired ...

Research confirms exercising during pregnancy is good for mother and baby

September 4, 2017
Spanish researchers have clarified doubts over the physical activity recommended during pregnancy. Their work highlights how exercise should be taken not only by healthy, previously active women, but that it is also a good ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.