Vaccines during pregnancy are a subject matter of confusion and pregnant women can benefit from some clarity on the subject.
Another pregnancy factor – weight gain and diet is also a matter of concern. Where pregnant women are urged to eat for two, this is really not required.
Flu shot in pregnancy has unexpected benefits
Many pregnant women probably know that it is advisable to get a flu shot during their pregnancy to protect against flu. However a according to a study conducted by researchers at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute the flu shot could have other benefits for a pregnancy than just protection against flu and its complications.
Women who took flu shots (H1N1 vaccine) were less likely to have premature labor and delivery.
Women who took flu shots were less likely to have low birth weight babies, and they were also seen to be less likely to suffer a stillbirth.
The study also found that there was no negative or adverse outcome as a result of the flu shot, so women who have concerns about the safety of the vaccine in pregnancy can rest assured.
The fact that the flu shots also accord additional protective benefits surprised researchers and could be yet another reason to have the flu shot during pregnancy.
Reasons to limit weight gain during pregnancy
A very large baby at the time of delivery is not advisable for many reasons. Not only do the chances of having to undergo a cesarean section increase, the chances of other complications also increase.
The chance of maternal injuries also rises with large babies. Further pregnant women weighing more than necessary could mean that the child could be obese too.
Researchers have found that it may be more than just blood sugar levels that affect how big a baby will be at birth. Maternal fat also influences how heavy the baby will be at birth.
Women who were carrying extra weight before pregnancy or those who put on too much weight in pregnancy were seen to be at risk of having babies who are ‘large for gestational age’. Researchers have found that the most effective way to try and avoid mother’s having very large babies is to target maternal weight and prevent excess weight gain.
This recent research suggests that rather than blood sugar levels it is actually maternal weight that is to be targeted in order to have fewer pregnancy complications and healthier babies.