How the Flu Affects Pregnant Women

Influenza is a serious, contagious respiratory disease that can cause complications for pregnant women and their unborn children. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu is more likely to occur in pregnant women than in non-pregnant women of childbearing age.

During pregnancy, a woman's body undergoes many changes, including the immune system, heart and lungs. As a result, pregnant women suffer from influenza that may require hospitalization.

Symptoms of the flu are sudden and usually include headache, fever, congestion, and body aches. If you are pregnant and you suspect you may have the flu, it is important to see your doctor for tests and treatment as soon as possible.

Pregnancy and immunity

Fetal-maternal immune interactions are complex. The immune system - the body's defense against foreign invaders - changes during pregnancy. Under normal immune conditions, an embryo is considered a foreign invader and is attacked. Instead, the mother's immune response changes to protect the unborn child.

At the same time, the immune system moves too fast to help two people. This can cause them to not function effectively, and pregnant women are more susceptible to certain infections.

Hormonal fluctuations also cause the immune system to weaken. For example, progesterone retains fluid. Excess fluid in the lungs during pregnancy increases a woman's risk of pneumonia and other lung infections.

In addition it increases the pressure on the mother's abdomen as the baby gets older. This makes it difficult for the lungs to inhale and exhale, which can interfere with the lungs' ability to fight infections.

How the immune system works

Possible complications

Many women who get the flu during pregnancy can experience the weather without its consequences, while others are less fortunate. Influenza can be serious and can lead to complications and even death for both mother and baby. The earlier it is reconstituted and treated, the better.

Research has shown that women are four times more likely to be hospitalized with flu complications during pregnancy. This risk is highest in the later stages of pregnancy and women in the first trimester have a lower risk of respiratory complications.

Influenza can increase the risk of pregnancy complications, including premature birth, miscarriage and stillbirth. 4 Risks to the baby include premature birth, low birth weight, low birth weight, and low agar scores as well as birth defects.

Fever, a common flu symptom, is associated with neural tube defects


The influenza virus is highly contagious and is spread by contact with infected airborne droplets in the air or on the surface. The CDC recommends that influenza  vaccine be given to pregnant women and pregnant women

The annual influenza vaccine has been shown to be safe for pregnant women and their unborn children. (Note: Flu shot is recommended in pregnant women even if there is no nasal flu shot.)

In fact, a study of more than 2 million pregnant women worldwide found that the vaccine reduced the risk of a pregnant woman being hospitalized with the flu by an average of 40%. The study concluded that fever shot provides similar protection throughout the three quarters

In addition to being critical to prenatal health, flu shots can protect the baby from the flu for up to six months after birth. This is good news as babies under 6 months can not get the flu.

Other ways to protect yourself and your unborn child from the flu:

Disinfect Prussians: Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home, work or school, especially when someone is sick. Heat above 167 degrees Celsius and chlorine, hydrogen peroxide, detergents, iodine based disinfectants and alcohol can destroy the flu virus by cleaning products.

Keep your distance: When influenza strikes, avoid crowded places and stay away from sick people.
Take care of yourself: Sleep to keep your immune system strong, stay physically active, control your stress, drink fluids and eat nutritious foods.
Management Treatment

Wash your hands: The influenza virus can live on the surface for up to 48 hours.  Get into the habit of washing your hands for at least 20 seconds after touching common surfaces or sharing space with a sick person. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can be used to destroy germs during travel.

Do not touch your face: Influenza virus is most often spread when a person touches a contaminated surface and touches their eyes, nose or mouth.

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