Skip to main content
Vaccines During Pregnancy

Vaccines During Pregnancy

Vaccines During Pregnancy: What’s True and What’s Myth?

It’s flu season, which means you’re probably seeing signs on every drug store in town to get your flu shot. And now that you’re expecting, it’s more important than ever to protect yourself from getting sick.

But as you pull into your nearest drug store or make your way into your doctor’s office, you hesitate and wonder if getting a flu shot is the right choice. Maybe you’ve gone years without a flu shot and never got sick. Or maybe you’ve always gotten the flu shot, but now worry it’ll be damaging to your developing baby.

When it comes to vaccinations during pregnancy, there is a lot of conflicting information out there. Even more so about vaccinations when your baby is born.

Let’s set the record straight about vaccinations, so you can properly take care of yourself and your baby during pregnancy.

Top Vaccination Myths

The key takeaway is vaccines still continue to prevent major illnesses for people young and old. In fact, vaccines used in the U.S. follow strict FDA regulations and have helped prevent disease outbreaks for decades.

Unfortunately, there are some misconceptions that prevent people from getting themselves and their kids vaccinated:

  • Myth 1: Vaccines lead to autism. In short, no, vaccinations do not lead to autism. This theory came to light after a 1997 scientific study was published suggesting vaccines are a cause of autism. Numerous studies since then have discredited those original findings, saying there is no evidence that vaccines lead to autism.
  • Myth 2: Toxic chemicals in vaccines are dangerous. While there are minimal amounts of formaldehyde and mercury in vaccines approved by the FDA, the amounts aren’t large enough to put expectant mothers or newborn infants at risk.
  • Myth 3: An infant’s health is at risk when exposed to many vaccines. There are certainly more vaccines (14 total) given to newborns today than ever before. But an infant is exposed to significantly more viruses day to day than vaccines, and there’s no evidence that suggests vaccines damage an infant’s immune system.
  • Myth 4: Vaccines cause the disease it’s meant to prevent. This is a big one, especially when talking about the flu shot. This misconception exists because in rare cases, vaccines can lead to mild symptoms that look like the disease. In reality, this is just your immune system responding to the vaccine.

The Flu Shot Vaccine During Pregnancy

Given all the misconceptions around vaccines, it makes sense that women would be hesitant about getting a flu shot. But a recent study published in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases, may actually relieve some of your stress.

Researchers from the U.S., Canada, and Australia looked at data of 2 million pregnant women from 2010 to 2016 and found that getting the flu shot actually reduced the risk of being hospitalized with the flu by 40 percent.

As your body continues to grow and change during your pregnancy, your heart, lungs, and immune system are more vulnerable. The flu vaccine can keep you out of the line of fire during the flu season, keeping you and your baby healthy and out of the hospital.

So, as you’re walking into your local drug store pharmacy or doctor’s office, breathe a sigh of relief and get your flu shot for the season!

Keep You and Your Baby Healthy this Flu Season at King’s Daughters’ Health Obstetrician

If you’re pregnant, there’s no better place to schedule an appointment than King’s Daughters’ Health. Our family-centered obstetricians are there for you every step of the way and are committed to the health of you and your baby.

Learn more about our maternity care services and OB-GYN team today!

CALL TODAY: 812.801.0856

Subscribe to This Week in Health to get the latest health news delivered to your inbox.