An Unexpected Boost When You're Expecting: Flu Shots?



There's a lot of scary talk about vaccinations these days, and though much of it seems more alarmist paranoia than anything else, we can understand why you wouldn't want to take the risk if you're pregnant. That's why mothers-to-be typically got flu shots at a much lower rate than the rest of the population, until 2009, when (at the behest of health officials facing H1N1) it jumped from 13-18% to 45%.

That 45% found, to their pleasant surprise, that the flu shot was actually beneficial to fetal health in that it prevented premature pregnancies. Those vaccinated were 37% less likely to have an early baby, and their babies also weighed more than the non-premature children of unvaccinated women. According to study leader Dr. Saad Omer, “Our thinking is that by preventing flu infection, we are reducing the likelihood of inflammation in pregnant women and therefore having a protective effect against preterm birth.” (Well)

What do you think, skeptics? Is this enough of a benefit to convince you to go under the needle?

pregnant woman

Photo: Courtesy of Mama NYC