The single best way to stay healthy during flu season is to get a flu vaccine. This is especially important for pregnant women in order to protect both the mother and baby from getting sick and to prevent any possible flu-associated pregnancy complications. The vaccine is perfectly safe; it has been given to millions of pregnant women over many years and has never been shown to cause harm to women or their babies.
In addition, getting vaccinated while you are pregnant can decrease your baby’s risk of getting the flu for up to 6 months after they are born. This is particularly important since babies younger than 6 months are too young to get a flu vaccine. To further protect newborns, all caregivers and close contacts – including fathers, siblings, grandparents and babysitters – should also get vaccinated.
There is still plenty of vaccine available so call your health care provider to schedule an appointment or search for a public flu clinic online at http://www.mylocalclinic.com. For more information about pregnancy and flu, visit www.mass.gov/flu
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