For Providers

Guidance for Pregnant Women

Flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women and women up to two weeks postpartum. The best way to prevent flu is influenza vaccination, which provides protection both to the woman and her infant for the first few months after birth.

Prevention

Vaccination: Pregnant women should get a flu shot and not the live attenuated influenza vaccine (also known as nasal spray flu vaccine). Flu shots are safe during pregnancy; CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend that pregnant women get vaccinated during any trimester of pregnancy.

Other Preventive Actions: In addition to getting the flu shot, pregnant women should take the same everyday preventive actions CDC recommends of everyone, including covering coughs, washing hands often, avoiding people who are sick, and encouraging those around them to get vaccinated.

Treatment

Early treatment is important for pregnant women, ideally within 48 hours of symptom onset. The decision to start treatment should not wait for laboratory confirmation of influenza.

CDC provides guidance on the recommended use of antiviral medications in treatment and prevention of influenza in pregnant women.

Last Modified: June 28, 2019