To say that Lauren Robinson Sotomayor is in “baby planning mode” would be an understatement.
“My job as a wedding planner keeps me very busy throughout the fall, and so now I’m finally able to focus on preparing the nursery and getting everything ready for our new little one. I have just three months to get it all done!” says Sotomayor with a smile.
The first-time mom and her husband are waiting to find out the child’s gender until after the baby’s born. While they welcome that surprise, she doesn’t want to be surprised by getting the flu.
“I have a million things to get ready and prepare for, but I didn’t want the flu to be one of them,” says Sotomayor. “When I went to see Dr. Cole for my 24-week appointment, I saw pamphlets about getting the flu vaccine. This is actually the first year I got a flu vaccine, and part of that reason is because I am pregnant. ”
“Getting the flu vaccine is very important, especially for pregnant women,” says Nichole Fleming Cole, M.D., an OB-GYN affiliated with Memorial Hermann Katy Hospital. “The flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in healthy women who aren’t pregnant. Depending on the seriousness of the illness, it could lead to hospitalization and even death.”
December 4 – 10 is National Influenza Vaccination Week. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine. The CDC says pregnant women can get a flu shot during any trimester of their pregnancy to protect themselves and their newborn babies from the flu.
“There’s been research showing that vaccinating a pregnant woman from the flu can also protect a baby after birth, because the mother passes on the antibodies to the baby in utero. This is a very important thing to consider for women who expect to deliver during the height of flu season,” says Dr. Cole.
“I consider myself fairly healthy, but being pregnant takes things to a whole new level. I’m thinking not only about my health, but about my child’s health. I didn’t want to take a chance that I’d get sick,” says Sotomayor.
Many physicians’ offices offer the flu vaccine, including Memorial Hermann Urgent Care facilities, Memorial Hermann Medical Group offices, or RediClinics located inside neighborhood H-E-B stores. Women looking for more information about maternity services at any Memorial Hermann facility can learn more here.