Pregnancy and The Flu

Pregnancy and The Flu

I sat down with Dr. Jason Halliwell and asked him a question all mamas with winter pregnancies have asked at some point or another: ‘What about having the flu while I’m pregnant?’ If you are pregnant for the first time, or the fifth, this article can prove extremely helpful during this dreadful cold and flu season.

Can I get the flu shot while pregnant?

 “Yes, it is recommended to get the preservative-free version (without mercury) which only comes in the injection form and not the nasal spray form.”

How long will the flu last? What symptoms should I expect while pregnant?

“10-14 days. Fever under 103, body aches, headaches, sore throat, cough, congestion, fatigue, and sputum are normal symptoms of the flu.”

What is the difference between the flu and a cold?

“Both are viruses but different kinds of viruses. The flu is caused by the “flu virus” and causes a much more severe illness with fevers and systemic symptoms compared to the cold, which is caused by the “Rhinovirus,” which typical causes congestion, cough, and localized systems involving the respiratory system.”

Am I more likely to get sick because I’m pregnant?

“Yes, during pregnancy your immune system is generally weakened and you are more susceptible to get flu, colds, and other illnesses, even cancer.”

Can the flu harm my pregnancy?

 “Yes, if the flu does not resolve in the normal amount of time (10-14days) or progresses to pneumonia or even sepsis, it can put you or your baby’s health and even life at risk.”

What should I do if I feel like I’m getting the flu while pregnant?

“Rest, drink plenty of fluids, and notify your OB/GYN if your symptoms do not resolve in 10-14 days or you progressively get iller (fevers above 104, inability to breathe, extreme fatigue like inability to get out of bed).”

Should I seek Emergency Medical care If I am getting sick while pregnant?

“Generally not immediately. If you can determine it is a cold or flu, you can stay home and rest and drink fluid and take over the counter medications for symptoms. If symptoms are severe,  fever above 104 or unable to breathe then you should go to the ER.”

What medicines can I take while pregnant?

“Tylenol for fever, body aches, headache, and sore throat. Also Robitussin DM for cough or Mucinex, and Sudafed for congestion is fine during pregnancy.”

How can I avoid catching the flu?

“Get your flu shot in September or October each year. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer regularly every day. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep as well.  If you know someone is sick, do not visit or hang out with this person if possible. Sometimes this is not possible because it is your spouse or children with this sickness, in that case, keep everything clean and sanitized in your home.”

Anything else I should know about the flu and pregnancy?

“Do not stress over it. It is not the end of the world but you should keep from being too active when you have it so your body can get better. Keep your fever down with Tylenol (lower than 100) so as to not to stress the fetus. Seek help either in the ER or at your OB office if symptoms are severe or you are not getting better and feel you are getting worse. (to avoid complications with your pregnancy)”

Straight from the Doctor’s mouth

The flu can be scary, especially whilst pregnant but time, medicine, and rest should be enough to overcome the unwanted visitor. If you feel your symptoms or fever graduating past the normalcy of the flu do not hesitate to call your doctor! Keep you and baby bundled up and enjoy your pregnancy this winter season! If you have yet to find an OB/GYN to help you through a healthy pregnancy feel free to give us a call at Advanced Women’s Health Center. Please repost and share this article to help mama’s everywhere this season!

Back To News & Updates