Pregnancy And Flu
Influenza, also called flu is a common condition that is easily caused through the influenza virus and it is largely observed in the winter months. This condition is ordinarily not at all serious and tends to resolve on its own. However pregnancy and flu can become a dangerous combination and result in complications for the mother as well as unborn child. Flu complications like pneumonia during pregnancy can be particularly dangerous. Ordinarily the symptoms associated with flu include fever, cough, chills, headaches, muscle as well as body aches, stuffy nose and exhaustion. Fever during pregnancy can also have an adverse effect on the health of the mother and the unborn child.
Since the immune system tends to be slightly weak during pregnancy, there is increased possibility of a pregnant woman getting the flu. In case of flu during pregnancy the symptoms are also likely to last longer. It is important for pregnant women having the flu to monitor their temperature. Those having temperature of more than 101 degrees F should seek prompt medical attention. It is also important to seek medical attention if the woman experiences other problems like chest pain, extreme sore throat and shortness of breath during the pregnancy and flu phase. If the woman is less than 12 weeks in her pregnancy period or in excess of 38 weeks then it is advisable to avoid taking any medication unless it is recommended by the doctor. Pregnant women suffering from flu should ideally increase the fluid intake so as to remain hydrated. It is also important to maintain the nutritional intake. This is because flu often affects the appetite but it is important to eat properly. Rest is also extremely crucial and certain other home remedies can help in providing relief from the congestion and post nasal drip experienced due to the flu. A humidifier or steamer can assist in loosening the secretions. Application of warm compresses on the face can also provide relief from the pain experienced in the sinus areas.
After the initial 12 weeks if a pregnant woman experiences flu then certain over the counter medicines can be taken. These include Sudafed nasal decongestants, some cough syrups and Tylenol for fever. However before taking those medicines it is advisable to seek medical guidance. Pregnant women having the flu need not be worried about the cough affecting the baby as the baby is well protected in the womb and the racking cough cannot harm it. In case of pregnancy and flu condition it is advisable for women to get flu shots. This flu shot can protect these women from getting and spreading the virus. This flu shot can be taken during the flu season which starts from October lasting till May. Pregnant women having the flu cannot however use nasal flu vaccine as it is not developed for pregnant women. The flu shot can also be good for the baby since babies of women who have taken the shot are less likely to suffer from any severe complications related with the flu virus after the birth.
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