Medwatch-Pregnant women and flu shots

Medwatch-Pregnant women and flu shots

(CNN) The CDC says there's a growing trend among pregnant women, more moms-to-be are getting their flu shots. That's good news because influenza, or the flu, can be dangerous during pregnancy.

Pregnant moms are at risk for serious complications from the flu.

"They have a higher chance of preterm birth, they have a higher chance of adverse events as a result of contracting influenza virus during pregnancy which can lead to a higher likelihood of needing to go on a ventilator," said Dr. Rebecca Stark, Cleveland Clinic OB/GYN.

Pregnancy causes changes in immune, heart and lung functions, which make a woman more likely to get seriously ill from the flu. Pregnant women are at higher risk for being hospitalized or even dying from the flu. It's recommended that all pregnant women get a flu shot.

Dr. Stark says the flu shot is very safe and is the best way to protect a pregnant mom and her baby.

"The other benefit to giving mom the vaccine is that her immune globulins, her immune response, is then passed to the baby so that the baby will then have that passive immunity. So, especially for those babies that are going be born during the flu season, it's very important for them," Dr. Stark.

Dr. Stark says the nasal spray flu vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women, only the injectable flu shot.

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