Pregnancy- Flu Shot

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Image from www.whattoexpect.com

CDC Recommendations

The CDC recommends pregnant women receive vaccination during any trimester of pregnancy. According to the CDC, nasal spray inoculations aren’t effective, so they’re not recommended. That said, a woman should check with her doctor before vaccinating.

Vaccination Inner-Workings

A vaccination acts on a person’s body like a pseudo-cold. Imagine your immune system is a very young animal. Now imagine you give that young animal a stuffed creature to play with. This false prey is not a real creature. It is representative of the creature. So the animal will play with it and toss it around and learn all the many things it would like to do should it encounter this creature in real life. Giving your body a vaccination allows your immune system to throw the “stuffed animal” of the flu around for a while and determine just what things will and will not work. But like the young animal playing with the stuffed effigy, this will bring about activity. The animal must run around, knock into things, and generally goof off as is the wont of young critters in a playful mood. In like manner, your immune system will have a reaction to the vaccine which facilitates a kind of pseudo-illness. This only lasts a few hours to a few days and is non-lethal. It’s really just a kind of “mini” flu; a carbon cut-out of the real thing. But there will still be side-effects, and depending on the constitution of you or your baby, it may not be recommendable to take the risk during pregnancy.

The CDC’s advisement is made under the consideration that the health of mother and child are not marred by complications like gestational diabetes. True, gestational diabetes likely won’t have any bearing on your health as regards a flu shot; it’s just a condition which only comes along during pregnancy, and that’s the point: there are many things which happen to a woman’s body during pregnancy that are out of the normal. Using an influenza vaccine during this time may not be bad for mother or child, but at the same time, it might. So before you do anything, consult your doctor and determine when the best time to do this may be. Children in the womb develop incredibly fast, and vaccinating at crucial development points may ultimately end up damaging the child. It’s just like if you caught a very virulent form of the flu at a critical time during the pregnancy: birth defects can happen. Are they likely with the flu shot? No; according to the CDC, they’re not. But you want to risk as little as possible with that new life growing inside you, so be sure to check with your doctor before you get an influenza vaccine while pregnant. Additionally, be sure that when you finally do take such a vaccine, you are in good bodily health. A pseudo-sickness will follow its administration, and you need to be in tip-top condition in order to get through it the quickest.

Advantages Of Vaccinations

Think of a vaccination like a piece of body armor for your body’s immune system. They won’t prevent you from catching the flu, just like body armor won’t prevent you from feeling the weight of a blow. But armor will prevent that blow from having the fullest damage, and vaccinations will diminish the severity with which the contracted flu catches you this flu season. So to review, the primary things you should do in regard to influenza vaccinations during pregnancy are:

  • Be healthy when you vaccinate
  • Check with your doctor to determine that you should vaccinate.

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