How Does Flu Affect Pregnancy?

Posted By :


Flu During Pregnancy

Numerous changes occur during pregnancy even in immune system, heart and lungs. Additional stress is put on the heart and lungs as the lung capacity decreases and heart rate increases during pregnancy. During this time the immune system also gets naturally suppressed making you more susceptible to the flu during pregnancy.

Flu may lead to pneumonia and even hospitalization and may also places your baby at risk, so it is important to prevent being affected by flu during pregnancy. Studies have revealed that having the flu during pregnancy can increase your chances of premature birth, miscarriage and low birth weight.

Symptoms of the Flu while Pregnant


The symptoms of the flu include:

  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Shortness of breath/Cough
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhea or vomiting
  • Body aches
  • Sudden chills or fever

How To Prevent the Flu During Pregnancy?

There are many steps to be taken as precaution in order to prevent the flu.  A few of these s include regularly washing your hands, healthy eating habits, getting plenty of sleep, and staying away from those who have the flu as it can be easily spreaded. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends getting flu vaccination as the most effective way to prevent getting the flu while pregnant.

Are Flu Vaccinations Safe during Pregnancy?


Flu vaccination are proven safe for both pregnant mother and unborn baby. However, the flu nasal spray (LAIV) vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women, as it contains a live strain of virus.Pregnant women can get flu vaccination at any time during their pregnancy, but it is recommended to be vaccinated early on during flu season. In addition to preventing the mother from catching the flu, the flu vaccine also possess positive benefits for the unborn baby.

When mother gets vaccinated while pregnant, antibodies are transferred from the vaccinated mother to the unborn baby across the placenta. This vaccination protect the infant for up to 6 months after birth. Studies reveal that prevention of the flu in pregnant women can positively affect the growth of the unborn baby.The flu shot is proven to be safe for mothers who breastfeed, since the antibodies pass through the breast milk harmlessly to the baby. Soreness, tenderness, and redness are the only side effects caused for providing flu shot.


Treatment for Flu during pregnancy

Consult the doctor and get yourself comfortable with safe antiviral medications to treat the flu. Taking appropriate medications as soon as you find you are sick can reduce the amount of time and complexity of sickness. Other steps of treatment include getting plenty of rest and drinking plenty of fluids.

Acetaminophens (i.e. Tylenol), dextromethorphan (robitussin-DM or delsym), guaifenesin, or cough drops and considered to be safe during pregnancy but it is always advised to get the prescription from the doctor.

Seek help immediately when any of the following symptoms occur:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or belly
  • Sudden dizziness or confusion
  • Decreased or no movement of your unborn baby
  • High fever that does not go down with Tylenol.
  • Vomiting that is severe or constant