Pregnancy and you blog

Flu during pregnancy: What to do?

By Mary M. Murry, R.N., C.N.M. December 4, 2012

I think flu season is like the beginning of a novel — it was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

Now is the best of times because of the advances in medicine. The flu vaccine is more effective than ever. Flu shot clinics are widespread. You can take antiviral medication to ease symptoms and help keep the flu from turning into something more serious, such as pneumonia.

Now is the worst of times because getting the flu is just plain awful. Every joint in your body hurts. Your head feels like it could explode. You have a fever and chills. Simply standing up can be challenging. You might also have a sore throat, cough and extreme fatigue. On top of it all, you're pregnant and you don't know what you can take to help you get through it.

If you haven't already spoken with your health care provider about the flu, please talk about it at your next appointment.

Get the details on the flu vaccine. If you haven't gotten the vaccine, please get one soon — and encourage all members of your household to do the same.

In case you get the flu, find out when to schedule an office visit and when a phone call will suffice. In some cases a nurse might be able to take care of you over the phone — telling you about comfort measures or ways to ease your symptoms. Also ask about your health care provider's policy on antiviral medication or other drugs for particular flu symptoms.

During flu season, I wish you all only the best of times!

Dec. 04, 2012