Could The Flu Shot Reduce The Risk of Stillbirth?
If there was a super simple way to reduce the risk of your baby being born stillborn, would you do it?
Yup, I think I would too. It sounds like a horrible, horrible thing to even mention or talk about it, but most of us know at least someone who has dealt with the tragedy of stillborns. According to the CDC, stillbirth affects about one percent of pregnancies in the United States and it's a very difficult occurrence to prevent, understand, and recover from.
One study found that receiving a flu shot during pregnancy might actually help prevent the risk of stillbirth, which is promising news. The study, released in Clinical Infectious Diseases, found that women who received the flu shot actually had about 50 percent less risk of delivering a stillborn baby.
The authors noted that even after controlling other factors in the study (because there are tons of things that may be linked to the results, even in the best-designed study), that the association between women who received the flu shot and those who did not still was well over 50 percent.
The reduction in stillborn deaths especially seemed to matter if the baby was born right after influenza season, suggesting that there may be something that happens during a woman's pregnancy if she catches the flu, especially near delivery. As we all know, getting a flu vaccine doesn't necessarily mean you won't get the flu, but it can help prevent it and, maybe even more importantly for pregnant women, help reduce the severity of the flu if you do catch it by arming your body with some helpful antibodies to fight the flu.
It's interesting research and we still need to learn more, but it may be helpful to consider getting the flu shot during your pregnancy, especially if you are due during flu season, which generally falls between November and February.
Did you receive the flu vaccine during your pregnancy? Will this study influence you to receive one?