I received a flu shot early on in my pregnancy. My doctor recommended it because she wanted to protect me from getting sick, which would also protect my unborn child from any complications. Little did I know it would also help reduce my risk for having a baby that is small for it’s gestational age.
A new study followed 340 pregnant women in Bangladesh, 170 that were given the flu shot in their third trimester and 170 who were also in their third trimester that received a different vaccine that did not protect against the flu. The results of the study found that the group of women who received the flu shot had a smaller percentage of babies that were small for their gestational age. Of the women who received the shot, only 26 percent of them had small babies, versus 45 percent for the women who did not receive the flu vaccine.
The study was complete when the influenza virus was active in the country, but another study that was done when the virus was not active, found similar results.
According to the March of Dimes, babies born with low-birth weight have an increased risk of developing serious health problems as newborns, lasting disabilities, and possibly death.
“Our data suggest that the prevention of infection with seasonal influenza in pregnant women by vaccination can influence fetal growth,” Dr. Mark Steinhoff, of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Ohio, and colleagues wrote in their report.
With this new research, it just assures my decision that getting the flu shot during pregnancy was the right thing to do.
Did you get the flu shot while pregnant?