I'm Pregnant. Should I Get a Flu Shot?

I just found out that I'm 6 weeks pregnant. Do I need to get the flu vaccine or will it affect my pregnancy?

Flu can carry more risks for pregnant women. So the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all pregnant women get vaccinated.

The changes that go on in women's bodies during pregnancy weaken the immune system a bit, making it easier for them to catch whatever bug is going around. If a pregnant woman catches the flu, she is more at risk of other health problems, like pneumonia. Flu also can lead to pregnancy-related complications, like going into labor early.

Although the flu vaccine comes in both shot and nasal spray form, you'll need to get the shot — the nasal spray is not recommended for pregnant women. Studies have shown that the shot is safe during pregnancy.

If you develop flu-like symptoms before or after you've been vaccinated, call your doctor right away. Pregnant women who catch the flu may need to take antiviral medicines to decrease the chances of developing complications.

Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch
Date reviewed: August 2010

Have a question? Ask the experts

* Names have been changed to protect user privacy.

Kids Health

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2016 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.