By Dr. Siobhan Dolan Feb. 20, 2013 (TIME Magazine)
It’s not too late to get a flu shot – especially if you’re pregnant, say experts at the March of Dimes.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging all Americans to get an influenza vaccine, and pregnant women should be at the front of that line. The flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy and can protect both mother and baby from the flu and its possible consequences.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications from flu because pregnancy takes a toll on their respiratory and immune systems. Pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized with flu and influenza infections can increase their risk of preterm labor and delivery. Health complications from influenza, such as pneumonia, can be serious and even deadly.
Newborns are also at an increased risk of severe illness and even death from the flu. Nationwide, 64 child deaths have been reported this flu season.