Many researches were conducted to find out whether flu affect pregnancy and what consequences many be. Two secondary researches were examined. The first stated that the risk of complications from flu is higher in pregnant women, especially in the last trimester. The most thorough researches of flu influence were conducted in 1998. Researches revealed that during flu season more pregnant women had been hospitalized because of lung and heart problems and serious medical conditions. Furthermore, the risk increases along with pregnancy. For example, pregnant women suffering from asthma are more likely to be hospitalized during flu season. Actually the finding revealed have made national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend flu shot for pregnant woman, because flu shots are able to provide protection against disease in pregnant women.
Nevertheless, that suggestion wasn’t confirmed in medical literature. Flu shot is considered rather safe for pregnant women, because the vaccine is inactivated. Recent studies on flu shot have found that “2,000 pregnant women revealed no excess malignancies in the fetus”. Moreover, the latest researches haven’t shown any series affect on the fetus and mother. (Black et al. 2004)
The second research confirmed the fact that flu shots are of great importance, because they protect women from complications during pregnancy. Furthermore, the research stressed that if a woman has the flu during the first trimester of pregnancy, the child will be at higher risk of developing schizophrenia in future. According to report in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the risk of developing schizophrenia in child is increased during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, the risk isn’t increased during the late pregnancy. Nevertheless, the researchers say that it is too early to make any claims and recommendations. But it is apparent that women should get flu shot before pregnancy. Additionally, it is advised to get flu shots not only because of schizophrenia, but also to decrease the risk of flu complications and to decrease lung capacity. (Manning 2004)
Black, S., Shinefield, H, France, E., Fireman, B., Platt, S. & Shay, D. (2004). Effectiveness of Influenza Vaccine During Pregnancy in Preventing Hospitalizations. Am J Perinatology, 21, 333-339.
Manning, Anita. (2004, August 2). Flu During Pregnancy Linked to Adult Schizophrenia . USA Today.