Vaccination, breastfeeding and pregnancy

It is recommended that all pregnant women, regardless of the stage of pregnancy, be vaccinated against the flu during periods of influenza activity (typically during wintertime). Pregnant women are more at risk for flu-related complications than other women, especially as the pregnancy progresses or if the woman has a chronic illness.

There are two kinds of vaccines on the market: vaccines made from inactivated viruses and those made from attenuated viruses. Vaccines made from inactivated viruses are safe for pregnant women and the fetus. It is important, however, to tell your health professional about your condition before getting a vaccine.

Remember that the flu vaccination is the most effective and safest way to prevent influenza. Vaccination during pregnancy helps protect the woman, the fetus and the newborn.

In addition, women who are breastfeeding and their families should also get the flu vaccine annually. Because newborns are at risk of developing complications from an influenza infection, protecting family members is even more important because babies under six months of age are unable to receive the flu vaccine.

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