Pregnant? Consider Vaccinations as Protection
Author: Stef Daniel
The buzz created about the swine flu has everyone concerned. If you are pregnant, you are probably even more concerned about keeping yourself healthy. When it comes to things like Swine Flu, the best defense is to be vaccinated. The good news is that even in areas where the vaccination is scarce, pregnant women are given first dibs at receiving the injection.
The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that pregnant women are in one of the highest risk groups for Swine Flu related complications. While your chances of getting it aren't any higher, your chances of developing serious side effects are. With an estimated 1 out of every 6 people expected to get a mild to severe case of the Swine Flu, this is one vaccination worth enduring the needle for. The same is true for the seasonal flu.
The CDC report indicates that pregnant women, especially those in the third trimester, are at a greater risk of developing lung and heart problems during serious illnesses like seasonal or Swine Flu. Since treatment options for pregnant women are often limited, protecting yourself with a vaccination is a good idea. In proportion to other groups, the highest incidence of death and serious illness comes from pregnant women. Although that may sound alarming, the bottom line is that statistics show that more pregnant women suffer the serious version of Swine Flu than other population groups. However, there are many pregnant women who get and have had Swine Flu with little to no effects. Nevertheless, why take a chance in this very fragile place in your life?
While the Swine Flu has gained national attention, these warnings are nothing new. Throughout history, every pandemic flu or illness has had the potential to be more serious for pregnant women. While physicians can't explain why they do report that it probably has something to do with an overloaded immune system and the huge job that your body is undertaking in carrying a baby.
Consider that while you may be extremely healthy otherwise, your biggest risk factor and need for the vaccination is because you are pregnant. It has nothing to do with underlying illness or other medical problems that you may have. There has not been any conclusive studies about the effects of Swine Flu on a fetus, but some new statistics from the CDC show that the flu (both seasonal & Swine) raises your risks of premature labor and delivery.
Pregnancy is a time when women give up their own bodies in order to take care of another human. Even if you are not a fan of vaccines or feel that your risks are not high, your OB/GYN will probably recommend that you are vaccinated. Talk with them about risks versus benefits, and you will realize that your best choice is to take advantage of the vaccination and protect you and your unborn baby.