It’s that time of year again, when many are suffering from sore throats, runny nose, and fever. Dr. Cherrie Morris, an OB/GYN with Lee Health, encourages everyone to get their flu shot. “The flu is not just like a cold. It’s something completely different. The flu, especially in pregnant women, can be more severe.”
Expecting mothers are highly encouraged to get the flu vaccine. “Pregnant women are more subject when they get any kind of respiratory infections, they can get it a lot worse than someone who is not pregnant, almost to the point of it being life threatening,” said Dr. Morris.
Regardless of their trimester, pregnant women are encouraged to get the injectable flu vaccine, not the nasal spray. The injectable vaccine is a dead virus that is not going to give you the flu, whereas the nasal spray is a live virus.
“People also worry about the additives that are in the flu vaccine and if they’re going to hurt the baby. The data is out there and absolutely not,” said Dr. Morris.
If a pregnant woman gets the flu, she’s at risk for pneumonia, hospitalization, even preterm labor.
“When you get vaccinated, with any vaccination you’re going to make antibodies. Those antibodies will cross the placenta and they will go to the baby,” said Dr. Morris.
The antibodies protect the baby even after birth. “When your baby is born in that first three months of life they will have the immunity you gave them. They’re not vaccinating babies that early for a lot of things and flu is one of them so they’re going to have that protection from you and you’re going to be protected,” said Dr. Morris.
Flu symptoms include fever, chills, coughing, runny nose, and fatigue. The vaccine will help keep the mother and baby protected during and after pregnancy.
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Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.