Protect yourself and your unborn baby! Get your flu shot when you’re pregnant. It’s very important! This shot will protect you and your unborn baby.
When babies turn 6 months old, they are old enough to get their own flu shots.
As soon as possible! Everyone should get a flu shot even before the start of flu season, if possible. If you are pregnant during the flu season, getting a flu shot is even more important.
All adults, infants 6 months old and older, and children, and teenagers need flu shots.
Are flu shots safe? Yes, the flu vaccine is safe for you and your unborn baby. Millions of pregnant women have gotten flu shots. These shots will help protect you and your baby against serious illness during your pregnancy and later.
When is flu season? Flu season starts in September and lasts until about April.
The flu–very dangerous! The flu is very dangerous for pregnant women, newborns and older infants.
A pregnant woman who gets the flu A pregnant woman with the flu will experience some of these:
• sore throat
• runny or stuffy nose
• muscle or body aches
More important A pregnant woman with the flu is more likely than other adults to
• catch pneumonia
• suffer from acute respiratory distress syndrome
• suffer from dehydration
• need to be hospitalized
If you get the flu during pregnancy If you are pregnant and get the flu, you can pass it along to
• your unborn infant
• your newborn infant
An unborn infant whose mom gets the flu can
• experience ‘fetal distress’
• possibly be born prematurely
• possibly be born underweight
If you get the flu after delivering your baby Your newborn baby can catch the flu too. This would be very dangerous.
A baby who catches the flu can suffer from
• severe respiratory illness
Breastfeed your baby! Breast milk contains antibodies to help fight off bacteria and viruses.
Everyone near you and the baby Your flu shot and the baby ‘s first flu shot are not enough. Ask everyone who will be near you and your baby to get immunized against the flu. You don’t want other people to spread the flu.
How can you protect your baby?
• Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze.
• Ask your children and everyone else near the baby to cover their mouths and noses when they cough or sneeze.
• Don’t let sick people into your home.
• Wash your hands often. Ask others in your home to do this too.
• Don’t expose your baby to germs anywhere—at parties, in the shopping mall, at a friend’s home.
• Disinfect counters and other surface areas. This will stop germs from spreading.
Your 6-month-old baby Make sure your 6-month-old infant gets the shot!
If it’s baby’s first flu shot At first, babies need 2 doses, 4 weeks apart. After that they need only 1 dose.
Ask your doctor questions! Ask your doctor any questions you have about immunization.
Where can you get your flu shot?
• your doctor’s office
• a pharmacy (Some pharmacies, such as CVS, and some stores, such as Target and Ralph’s, accept some types of insurance. You can ask.)
• for free, at a county flu clinic
Free flu shots from the County! You and your children can receive free flu shots in many parts of Los Angeles County during the Fall. Return to this page to see the schedule>>
Free flu shots from Coach for Kids! Infants and children up to age 18 can receive free flu shots and other medical services. Read the Coach for Kids October schedule here>>
If you get pregnant again If you get pregnant again you will need new shots. The flu shot you get while you’re pregnant protects you, your unborn baby and your newborn baby only for a short time.
The most dangerous times! Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s are dangerous times! Many people are in a home, a store or a mall. It’s easier for you or your baby to catch the flu in an enclosed space.
Are you on WIC? Enroll in WIC if you become pregnant and meet the eligibility requirements. A WIC educator will give you information about the flu and flu season and help you in many ways.
Eligibility for WIC Are you eligible? Read here about eligibility>>
Your WIC educator You can talk with your WIC educator during one-on-one sessions. Read more about one-on-one sessions here>>