Are You Trying to Get Pregnant - or Already Pregnant? - Get Your Flu Shot!

Are You Trying to Get Pregnant – or Already Pregnant? – Get Your Flu Shot!

Dr. M. Hellen Rodriguez, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center Perinatology/Neonatology Specialist

Preparing for the birth of a child is one of the most exciting and exhilarating experiences of a lifetime. There’s so much to do – preparing the nursery, buying adorable clothes and taking birthing classes. But one of the most important “to do’s” for all soon-to-be moms and women who are trying to get pregnant is to get a flu shot. Yet, many of these same women will forgo a flu shot, not realizing that they are putting themselves and their babies at extreme risk for what can be a life-threatening illness.

Influenza during pregnancy can result in pre-term birth, low birth weight and stillbirth of the baby. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the influenza vaccination can reduce the risk of flu infections in pregnant women up to one half, which also protects newborn babies from the flu for the first months of their lives when they are too young to receive vaccinations.


The CDC reported that the 2017-18 season was one of the worst flu seasons in recent years, resulting in many people of all ages being hospitalized. The flu is even more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women due to changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs.

In fact, several years ago during a similarly serious flu season, Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center saw a tremendous spike in pregnant women who were hospitalized with the flu. Some of those patients were so ill that they required admission to the intensive care unit and were put on life support. This also resulted in a number of new babies who were born with the flu. None of the patients admitted with the flu had received the flu vaccine. In addition, a survey of patients being admitted for delivery revealed that very few of them had received the flu vaccine.

Get a flu shot today to be sure you’ve taken measures aimed to protect yourself and your baby from the flu. *Ask your doctor how you can get a free flu shot from Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center.

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