While pregnancy is a very excited time of your life, it can increase your risk of the harmful effects of the flu. You may be reluctant to take these shots. But Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes, says, “We urge every pregnant woman to discuss influenza immunization with her health care provider because the risk of serious illness during pregnancy is substantial. It is important to note that the vaccine has been shown to be safe and effective in clinical trials.”
We encourage you to follow these tips to stay healthy during the flu season:
- Get vaccinated against seasonal flu. The vaccine is now available and is safe for pregnant women in all three trimesters. It is also safe to children ages six months and older. Changes in the immune system, heart and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from influenza. Risk of premature labor and delivery is increased in pregnant women with influenza. Vaccination during pregnancy will protect both mom and newborn up to six months old
- Get vaccinated against H1N1 flu. Pregnant women represented 5% of 2009 H1N1 influenza deaths. There is a vaccine that covers both seasonal flu and H1N1 in one injection. Contact your Obstetrician, Family Doctor or Midwife to find out how you can obtain the flu shot.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water and stay home if you are sick
- Eat a balanced diet and get lots of rest to boost your immunity.
- Watch for flu symptoms:
Fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose
Body aches, fatigue
If you have any of these symptoms, call your doctor.
Sponsored by AWHONN (Association of Women’s Health, Obstetrics & Neonatal Nurses) & Healthy Women
AVP – Women’s Services