Flu Fridays: Flu shot can protect pregnant women from more than just the flu

Happy Flu Friday!

Are you pregnant, or do you know someone who is pregnant? You’ve probably heard that it’s important for pregnant women to get the flu shot. That’s because if a pregnant woman gets the flu, both she and her fetus are at high risk for complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all pregnant women get the flu shot because it’s safe and because it’s the best way to prevent the flu.

A new study has found even more good news about the flu shot: It might protect from more than just flu! The study, published in APHA’s American Journal of Public Health, looked at medical records for more than 55,000 pregnant women. Researchers found that women who got flu shots during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009-2010 had a much lower chance of delivering premature or stillborn infants. According to the study, when a woman got the flu shot, her risk for delivering a baby before 32 weeks gestation dropped by 27 percent and her chance of having a stillborn baby dropped by 34 percent.

So there you have it: More great reasons for pregnant women to get their flu shots. For more information about pregnant women and the flu, visit the CDC seasonal influenza Web page.