Flu (influenza) is a viral infection that is way more than a runny nose and sore throat. It may make you very sick and can be extremely harmful during pregnancy.
How does flu spread?
Influenza spreads from person to person. When someone with the virus coughs, sneezes or speaks, the virus spreads via air. If you come in contact with any belonging of the infected person, you can get the viral infection.
What are the symptoms of flu?
Common symptoms include fever, runny nose, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, vomiting, and fatigue. During pregnancy more symptoms develop like confusion, less movement of baby, pain or pressure on the chest or belly, sudden dizziness, shortness of breath, and severe vomiting.
How can it affect your pregnancy?
Flu during pregnancy can be very dangerous as the immune system is weaker and flu can cause an infection like pneumonia. Flu during pregnancy can cause preterm labor and premature birth. Fever from the flu can also lead to neural tube defect which is a birth defect and thus fever should be treated on time.
How can it be treated during pregnancy?
One can take a flu shot during pregnancy as it also provides protection to your baby from catching the flu. If you have not been vaccinated and catch the flu, call your healthcare provider right away. Quick treatment with antiviral medicines can reduce the chances of severe flu complications like pneumonia.
Fever needs to be treated right away. Mostly Acetaminophen is recommended during pregnancy to deal with the fever. Paracetamol can also be taken to control the fever. However, under no circumstances should you self medicate. Medicines should only be taken at the recommendation of the doctor.
Proper rest is required if you get the flu. Stay in bed and drink plenty of water.
How can you avoid getting flu during pregnancy?
- Get the flu shot as soon as you can
- Don’t cough or sneeze in bare hands
- Maintain proper hygiene
- Stay away from sick people
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth too frequently
Have a safe pregnancy and for all pregnancy related information download Pregnancy Health, Diet and Fitness by Ango!