Flu Season and Pregnancy

By Medically reviewed by Dr. Duyen Le

Catching the flu during pregnancy will put you and your baby at risk of pregnancy complication. This is because medications or other treatments may not be safe for you and your baby.

How to prevent the flu?

Remember that the flu is easy to transfer between humans or through contact with infected objects. To avoid catching the flu when you are pregnant, you should follow these tips:

  • Avoid crowds because crowds are the fastest way to transfer the flu.
  • Regularly wash your hands with soaps.
  • Try to stay away from sick people.
  • Do not touch your eyes, your nose or your mouth with dirty hands because viruses can get to you from the objects that you touch.

What are some kind of natural treatments that really work?

Besides drugs, pregnant women can try some natural flu remedies as the first step of treatment.

  • Take a bed rest when having the flu. This is because the flu could give you drowsiness, headaches, dizziness or a runny nose.
  • Try to drink lots of fluids, such as water or juice.
  • Use lozenges with a sugar or honey base to ease sore throats and coughs.
  • You can put an air humidifier in your room to reduce congestion.

What kind of medications are used to treat the flu’s symptoms?

Before using any kind of medication, remember to consult your doctor beforehand. This is because some over-the-counter drugs may affect your pregnancy. These drugs may be used:

  • Nasal irrigation or saline nasal spray
  • Acetaminophen
  • Pseudoephedrine. Avoid it in your first trimester or if you have high blood pressure.

Besides, your doctor may prescribe drugs that you can use based on your conditions. They may include peramivir (Rapivab), oseltamivir (Tamiflu), or zanamivir (Relenza).

May I have a flu shot?

The answer is yes. It is seen as the best way to prevent the flu. You can get a flu shot even in the third trimester. Usually, the flu season begins in October and lasts until May. You can get the flu shot in October or November. If not, January isn’t too late.

This flu shot can protect you and your baby around 6 months after your delivery. Also, this method is totally necessary because a shot is not safe for babies who are younger than 6 months old. Your doctor also suggests you take an antiviral drug in case you have had contact with a patient who has the flu.

You may have some side effects like fatigue or muscle aches after taking this shot. Besides, you can also get a flu shot while you are breastfeeding. Don’t worry because this shot will not affect your baby.

On the other hand, the nasal flu vaccine is not recommended for pregnant women.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

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