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Pregnancy and the Flu

We have all heard of the H1N1 or “swine ” flu right? Well, what if you’re pregnant? Will the flu hurt your baby? Can you use the nasal spray vaccine for the flu? All these are legitimate questions that women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant need to ask themselves this flu season.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), women who are pregnant are more likely to be hospitalized with the flu because they run a greater risk of more serious health problems for both themselves and their baby. The CDC also fully recommends that pregnant women get the flu shot. According to their statistics, pregnant women who have had the flu shot, and the babies born to them, are less likely to get sick from the flu than those who didn’t get the vaccine.

Although the CDC fully recommends the flu shot itself, they do not recommend that pregnant women receive the nasal spray vaccine because it has not yet been approved for pregnant women. Because the nasal spray vaccine contains a live weakened vaccine, the CDC recommends that pregnant women stay away from it. The live vaccine, although weakened, can cause the 2009 H1N1 and possibly make you and your child very sick. The CDC fully advises that because of this, the nasal vaccine should only be given to healthy individuals between the ages of 19 to 49 years of age, and to healthy women who have already given birth, even if you are nursing.

So why are pregnant women more likely to get sick from the nasal vaccine? Because the immune system of a pregnant woman is not necessarily at its stongest. The inmmune system must handle not only the effects that being pregnant has on the mother’s body, but it must also protect the infant while it grows. It is for this reason that a pregnant mother’s immune system is spread thin and weakened. It is not safe to introduce a live vaccine of any kind into an immune system that would possibly be unable to handle it.

So ladies, this flu season, stay away from the nasal vaccine. It may be less painful at first but you are opening yourself up for a lot of problems in the future. If you would like to know more, the information in this article was derived from www.cdc.gov . You can go there and read all about the 2009 H1N1.