The Flu & Pregnancy: 8 Things Pregnant Moms Need to Know! by Dr. Shayna Mancuso
As an OB/GYN, my pregnant patients have many questions about the influenza virus (flu) and the influenza vaccine (flu shot). During my last pregnancy, I contracted the influenza virus. I was quite sick, yet fortunate enough to avoid serious complications. With flu season rapidly approaching (November-March), the following are a few flu facts to help keep our moms (and babies) healthy!
- Influenza is spread via virus-containing droplets when someone coughs, talks or sneezes.
- A person with the flu is contagious one day before symptoms develop and up to seven days after.
- Common flu symptoms include fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion and even nausea.
- The flu can cause very serious complications in pregnancy such as preterm labor or pneumonia.
- The flu can lead to high fevers, which may be dangerous to your growing baby.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend a flu vaccine for pregnant women during any trimester. (A flu shot without thimerasol may also be available.)
- The nasal spray is not recommended for use in pregnancy.
- The flu shot can protect your baby even after he or she is born.
Please contact your doctor if you are pregnant and having flu-like symptoms to discuss possible antiviral and natural treatment options. Read more about the ACOG's recommendations here and the CDC's here.