Tuesday, October 12, 2010

To Get, or Not to Get the Flu Shot During Pregnancy?

There are two sides to every issue. How to make the right choice for you and your baby this flu season is very personal.
While Walgreens, Duane Reed and Rite Aid all have their big signs outside pushing the flu shots and the CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice recommending the flu vaccination as well as many doctors, It is hard to decipher what to do and how to make the most educated decision on protecting yourself and your baby this flu season. However below are some facts that may help you decide?
Flu infection is rarely a threat during normal pregnancy.
There is no "convincing evidence" that the flu vaccination is effective during pregnancy.
Studies have not adequately assessed the risk of flu vaccination during pregnancy.
Thimerosalgarlic, a mercury-based preservative present in most flu vaccines, has been linked to neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism, in humans.
Thimerosal has been linked to a number of animal reproductive toxicities including teratogenicity, mutagenicity and fetal death.
For me as a mother and holistic Health counselor I always try to opt for the most natural approach and I tend not to put things in my body without knowing the origin….. To this extent, I avoided the flu shot while I was pregnant and recommend the same for my clients unless they work in a high-risk environment.
However, this does not mean I take the risk of the flu lightly.
Below are the precautions I recommend. Vitamin D, C, E and zinc are the big super star during flu seasons. Eat food that contain them as well as supplementing them. A person with a low vitamin levels is more vulnerable to contracting colds, influenza, and other respiratory infections.
Vitamin D is found in many dietary sources such as wild salmon, mushrooms, eggs, fortified organic milk, and cod liver oil. The sun also contributes to the daily production of vitamin D, and as little as 10 minutes of exposure is thought to be enough to prevent deficiencies. You can also take it as a supplementVitamin C is found in broccoli, strawberries, citrus fruits, green peppers, brussel sprouts, honeydew, and cantaloupe. Vitamin E is found nuts, seeds, and wheat germ. Zinc an important mineral is found in pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, oysters ; (however not recommended when pregnant) garlic, sesame seeds, wheat germ, and grass fed red meat and nuts. Also make sure to get plenty of rest, wash your hands frequently and avoid processed foods, caffeine and sugar.


  1. Thank you for this incredibly thoughtful piece. It's a great article and I plan to share it!

  2. If you have to take a flu shot during pregnancy, make sure it is not from a "multi-dose" vial. The Multi-dose has mercury whereas the single dose dose not (or so they say). I cringed when my sister, who was pregnant last year, took the multi-dose during the swine flu hysteria.

  3. I'm a nursing student and I'm always looking for new information to tell my patients. I can't wait to share this with my classmates and coworkers!

  4. this is so scary. I wish this info was more main stream