(WYTV)- Pregnant women are at a greater risk for severe illness from respiratory viruses such as the flu and COVID-19.

A woman’s immune system weakens during pregnancy, making vaccines especially important.

In addition to illnesses and maybe a hospital stay, the woman may give birth too early or lose the baby altogether.

“Respiratory infections, can be devastating in pregnancy and we have what it takes in this country to prevent it, so why don’t we prevent them? We have the flu vaccine, we have the COVID vaccine, we have preventative measures like hand hygiene, safe measures. Let’s take all that we have in our tool box,” said Dr. Tosin Goje of the Cleveland Clinic.

Doctors say the best way to protect a mom-to-be from complications from flu or COVID-19 is to be vaccinated and it’s okay to take the shots during pregnancy.

And not only does a flu shot protect an expecting mom, it also protects her newborn. The flu and COVID-19 vaccines appear in breast milk and the Centers for Disease Control says it’s okay.