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Pregnant Women With Flu Twice As Likely To Suffer Miscarriage — Study

Thu, January 17, 2013 11:04am EDT by Add first Comment
Flu Pregnant Miscarriage
Courtesy of Flickr

A new medical study confirms that flu vaccines are safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies, but catching the flu while pregnant leads to a much higher risk of having a miscarriage or stillborn.

During one of the worst flu seasons in history, a large new study proves what many pregnant women have been concerned about all flu season — it’s safe to get the flu shot. And if left unvaccinated, women are twice as likely to have miscarriages or stillborn babies if they contract the flu.

The study out of Norway found no evidence that giving pregnant women the flu shot would hurt their unborn baby. In fact, it reduced the risk of the women suffering a miscarriage or stillbirth.

Researchers looked at flu vaccines in 117,347 pregnant women from 2009 to 2010 in response to the dangerous H1N1 flu pandemic, and found that vaccinated pregnant women were 70% less likely to develop H1N1 flu than unvaccinated women.

The study also found that pregnant women who contracted the flu were twice as likely to miscarry or have a stillbirth.

Misconception That Flu Vaccine Is Harmful For Pregnant Women

“There has been this misconception that getting a flu shot, or a vaccine in general, is risky during pregnancy,” Siobhan Dolan, an obstetrician-gynecologist at Montefiore Medical Center in New York, told USA Today. “But it’s the flu that poses the greatest risk, not the shot.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months old should get a flu shot every year — including pregnant women. Actually, women can be vaccinated safely during any time of their pregnancy.

Flu Vaccine In Pregnant Women Protects Babies In First Months Of Life

Studies have also shown that getting a flu vaccine while pregnant protects babies for their first months of life — especially since babies younger than six months aren’t old enough to be vaccinated yet.

Which is amazing news, considering newborns are more likely to suffer severe complications from the flu because of their small airways and under-developed immune systems.

What do YOU think of the study HollyMoms? Is this good news for pregnant women?

— Christina Stiehl

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