(KUTV)- It is flu season again and the flu shots are available. The flu shot can be given any time in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Mom and the whole family should get the vaccine every season to help protect baby.
The flu can be deadly for mom because mom’s immune system isn’t as strong during pregnancy. The CDC and other professional organizations continue to support flu vaccines for pregnant women.
Pregnant women should get the Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis/whooping cough) vaccine in the third trimester of every pregnancy to give baby a boost of immunity for the first few months of life. Whooping cough can be deadly for baby.
Everyone who comes into contact with the baby should also keep up-to-date on the Tdap, MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), and other vaccines to help protect baby. If mom has never had chicken pox, she should try to get the varicella vaccine before she gets pregnant to protect her from having chicken pox during her pregnancy and causing complications for the developing baby such as eye, brain, and limb problems.
If mom needs to travel to other countries, she can check with her healthcare provider about the travel vaccines she will need for those countries. Remember, there is no vaccine for Zika virus so avoid areas where it is still active such as the Caribbean, Mexico, and South America.
If mom is worried about the preservative (thiomersal), she can get preservative-free vaccines. Remember, thimerosal and vaccines do not cause autism. If you have questions about immunizations in pregnancy and breastfeeding, visit MotherToBaby.utah.gov, call 801-328-2229, or email, text, or chat.