Is the flu especially dangerous for pregnant women?
Yes. Your immune system is weaker when you’re pregnant, so you’re more vulnerable to illness in general. And the flu can get serious very quickly during pregnancy and be complicated by infections such as pneumonia.
Pregnant women with the flu also have a greater chance of serious problems developing for their unborn baby, including premature labor and delivery.
Of course, many moms-to-be who get the flu have no complications. But statistically, you’re more likely to develop a severe case when you’re pregnant.
What symptoms should I watch for?
Flu typically starts with a fever, achiness, and fatigue, followed by cold symptoms, such as a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat,cough, chills. You may have diarrhea or vomiting as well.
Get emergency medical help immediately if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
- Bloody mucus
- Pain or pressure in your chest or abdomen
- Sudden dizziness, confusion
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Not feeling as much movement from your baby
- A high fever that doesn’t respond to acetaminophen
What should I do if I feel like I’m getting the flu?
If you get sick with flu-like symptoms, stay home, limit contact with others, and call your doctor. Your doctor will determine whether you need to go in for testing or treatment. Tests may include a nasal swab (best done in the first four days after you get sick). If you’re home alone, have someone check on you often.
If you come into close contact with someone who has the flu, call your doctor to talk about whether treatment could reduce your chances of getting the flu. Keep in mind that people with the flu are contagious from the day before they have symptoms and remain contagious up to a week after they become ill.
How should I treat the flu when I’m pregnant?
- Treat any fever right away. Acetaminophen is the recommended treatment for fever when you’re pregnant.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Your doctor will decide whether you need antiviral drugs. Antiviral drugs are prescription pills, liquids, or inhalers that fight flu by keeping the germs from growing in your body. These medicines can make you feel better faster and make your symptoms milder. Antivirals work best when started within two days after symptoms begin, but they may be given to people at high risk (such as moms-to-be) even after 48 hours.
- There is little information about the effect of antiviral drugs in pregnant women or their babies, but no serious side effects have been reported.
How can I avoid catching the flu?
- Get a flu shot as soon as possible when it becomes available in the fall. It takes a couple weeks for immunity to develop after you get the vaccine. Bonus: You’ll also help protect your infant from flu for up to 6 months after birth.
- Wash your hands frequently,including immediately before eating, after sneezing, and after going to the bathroom. Use proper hand-washing techniques, rubbing both sides of your soapy hands for at least 20 seconds and rinsing with plenty of water. When soap and water aren’t available, use disposable hand wipes or alcohol-based gel sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Don’t cough or sneeze into your bare hands. That gets the virus is all over your hands, where it can easily spread to others. Instead, cover your mouth with your arm and cough or sneeze into your sleeve. Or cover your nose and mouth with a disposable tissue, and throw it away right after using it. (Many experts recommend the sleeve method instead of a tissue because handling a tissue can still contaminate your hands and spread illness.) And if you do end up using your bare hands, wash them right away.
- Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. You may think your hands are clean, but if you touch a doorknob, a cup, a refrigerator handle, or any other item that someone else has touched with a virus-covered hand, your hands carry the virus and can infect you.
- Viruses and bacteria can live two to eight hours on hard surfaces. Regularly wipe down surfaces at home such as toys, bedside tables, doorknobs, telephones, and bathroom and kitchen counters with a disinfectant. Follow the directions on the product’s label.
- Stay away from people who are sick, including anyone in your household.
For more information about risk of Flu During pregnancy and to book your Flu Vaccination Appointment with Nisa Well Woman Clinic, please contact us at:
Ph: 04 513 6972
Send us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit us at www.nisaclinic.com
Suite 305, Building 49,
Dubai Healthcare City