Your Guide to Flu Season During Pregnancy
The autumn season means pumpkin patches, changing leaves and excitement around the holidays. Unfortunately, fall also means the start of flu season. In previous years, you’d just get a flu shot and forget about it. But now that you're pregnant, you want to make sure you're doing all you can to keep yourself and your bundle of joy safe.
Pregnancy causes natural changes in your immune system that can actually put you at higher risk of getting sick. Some of the flu’s most common symptoms can even put your developing baby at risk of serious medical conditions.
As scary as these risks may be, there’s plenty you can do to protect yourself and your unborn child during this time!
Is It Safe to Get a Flu Shot When You're Pregnant?
First and foremost, the flu shot is absolutely safe for you to get while you’re pregnant. In fact, the flu shot is the best protection for you and your baby against the flu. A recent study showed that getting a flu shot lowered a pregnant woman's risk of being hospitalized with the flu by 40 percent.
One of the greatest benefits of the flu shot when you're pregnant is that it can even help protect your baby after you give birth. The flu shot helps your body develop antibodies to fight the flu and those antibodies get passed to your baby. Since your baby won’t be able to get their own flu shot until they’re six months old, getting one while you're pregnant can help protect them after birth.
What if I Get the Flu When I'm Pregnant?
If you're experiencing flu symptoms when you're pregnant, you should reach out to your doctor right away. It's important to start treatment as soon as possible. Be sure to keep in close contact with your doctor so you can keep them updated on how you're feeling.
The good news is that there's plenty of things you can do on your own to help yourself feel better. These remedies include:
- Getting plenty of rest
- Focusing on eating a healthy diet that includes foods that are high in vitamin C (oranges, tomatoes, spinach), which can help boost your immune system
- Drinking plenty of fluids to help your body fight against the virus
- Taking your prenatal vitamins, which can give your body and immune system a much-needed boost
- Taking a spoonful of honey to help suppress severe coughing
Medications to Avoid When You Have the Flu During Pregnancy
If you get the flu, you’ll instinctively want to take over the counter medications to help manage your symptoms. However, there are some medications you need to be wary of now that you're pregnant. They include the following:
- Pain relievers such as Advil or Motrin are not safe during pregnancy
- Some nasal sprays can cause complications during pregnancy
- Most decongestants should be avoided while you're pregnant, as they can pose risks to your health and the health of your baby
Be sure to consult your doctor before taking any medication during your pregnancy.
King's Daughters' Health Offers Personalized Support for Your Pregnancy
Whether it's flu season or any other part of the year, you deserve the very best care possible for yourself and your baby. King's Daughters' Health offers personalized OBGYN services tailored to your specific needs and our expert staff treats every patient like they are members of their own family. Our team is also following increased COVID-19 protocols to ensure the safety and health of every patient.
Call us today at 812-801-0856 to see how our doctors can help provide personalized support for your growing family.