It’s the tail end of my pregnancy and I’ve been busy getting all sorts of things ready to welcome our second baby. One thing I recently crossed off my to-do list was to have all of us (my husband, our daughter and me) get our yearly flu vaccine to protect us from flu.
Getting the flu is more than just having the sniffles or a cough. I got the flu once several years ago and it completely wiped me out! I felt like I’d been hit by a truck. I had trouble breathing, no appetite, fever and chills, and was always exhausted even though I slept for most of the day. I was so sick that I never want to get the flu again!
It’s important for everyone to get the flu vaccine, but that’s especially true if you’re pregnant. That’s because you’re much more likely to have serious health complications from flu during pregnancy. Some health complications include miscarriage, preterm labor, premature birth or having a low-birthweight baby. In some cases, flu during pregnancy can even be deadly.
Don’t forget to have your partner and other children get their flu vaccine, too. Babies can get their first flu vaccine at age 6 months. But for us, our newborn baby will be too young to get his or her flu vaccine for much of this year’s flu season. So, the best way to protect our new baby and the rest of us from flu is to make sure the whole family gets the flu vaccine.
If you have any questions about getting the flu vaccine, talk to your health provider. Learn more about vaccinations during pregnancy and your baby’s vaccinations. Visit flu.gov for more information on flu.