Hard to believe, but it's that time of year again: flu shots. With the sniffle season fast approaching, doctors' offices and health officials are spreading the word on vaccinations and other protections against germs, USA Today reports.
A spokesman for the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists this week stressed the important of getting a flu shot while expecting a baby.
"The influenza vaccine during pregnancy is safe for both mothers and babies," according to Dr. Richard Beigi as quoted in the USA Today article. "Giving mom an influenza vaccination during pregnancy not only protects the mother, but also protects the newborn infant for the first six months of life." Beigi also emphasized in the article that "pregnant women who get the flu are also more likely to deliver early and have underweight babies."
The CDC also recommends that children 6 months old to 8 years old receive two doses of the flu vaccine if this is the first that the child is getting vaccinated.
To protect yourself and your growing family from the flu, the CDC is also urging people to follow its three-step approach to prevention:
- First, get a flu shot
- Second, make sure to wash your hands and cover your mouth when you cough. Your family and any child caregivers should do the same.
- If you do get the flu, visit your doctor and follow his or her orders on medication to help reduce the risk of complications.
Check out our Flu Season guide for more articles on fighting the flu. From how to spot symptoms to the truth about germs, our expert advice can help you and your little one make it through the upcoming sick season.
Maria Vega is Fit Pregnancy magazine's copy editor.