Pregnant women want to do everything they can to help their baby be healthy. One of the best things you can do is get your recommended vaccines while pregnant. Vaccinations help protect pregnant women from illnesses like the flu and they help support the immune system of their unborn children.
Pregnancy changes your immune system. It makes you more likely to get some illnesses and more likely to have severe symptoms. Having the flu during pregnancy can cause problems for your pregnancy, including affecting the growth of the baby, causing fetal distress, leading to an early delivery, and increasing the chance of a cesarean section. Anyone who is pregnant during flu season should get a flu shot as soon as they are available. Because we do not recommend live vaccines in pregnant women, we only use the flu shot, not the nasal flu mist.
A “birth plan” is like a game plan for your baby’s arrival. You have little control over when your labor starts, but a birth plan ensures that you, your partner, and your care team are all aware of your wishes on some key things like pain meds, the people involved, episiotomies and cord cutting.
When to start your plan:
Usually I discuss the birth plan with my patients at the beginning of the third trimester. Often it is the childbirth classes she takes that help a woman make decisions about the type of birth she wants. If a woman has not taken classes, I suggest other resources available online or at the library that will help her make choices regarding her baby’s birth.
Newspapers, web pages, and the evening news have constant reminders of the people who are a priority for receiving flu vaccines (particularly H1N1). Are you on the list? If you are pregnant, you probably already know that you are in the high priority group for receiving the vaccination for the H1N1 flu.Continue reading →
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