The best protection against the flu is to get the flu shot.
Pregnant women are at higher risk of complications from the flu than women who are not pregnant. They are more likely to develop serious complications like pneumonia and are more likely to be hospitalized.
Data from millions of women obtained over many years show that the flu shot is safe during pregnancy.
Pregnant women should get the flu shot as soon a possible after it is available.
Babies of women who get the flu shot during pregnancy receive antibodies against the flu.
This will protect them until they can get vaccinated at age 6 months.
The flu shot does not cause the flu. The vaccine in the shot is made from either killed flu viruses or weakened flu viruses. Neither are capable of causing flu illness.
Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches and headache.
People with these symptoms should be seen right away, whether they’ve had the vaccine or not.
Antiviral medication is safe in pregnancy – it is best when given within 48 hours of symptom onset.
It can be given to pregnant and postpartum women who have been exposed to the flu.
While the flu shot is the best protection against the flu, additional precautions include washing hands frequently, covering the mouth and nose with coughing or sneezing and avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
This is excellent advice from the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine.
For more information and or advice contact me, Ruth Haskins MD, and visit www.ruthhaskinsmd.com