Flu and Pregnancy

Premier Health providers answer frequently asked questions about flu and pregnancy.

What are ways a pregnant woman can care for herself if she does get the flu?

If you are pregnant and have flu-like symptoms, it’s important to call your doctor’s office right away, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The symptoms of the flu, especially a fever, can be dangerous to your growing baby.

In addition to calling your doctor, the CDC and U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recommend the following:

  • Covering yourself with a blanket to help with chills
  • Drinking plenty of fluids, including broth, water, and sports drinks
  • Gargling with warm, salty water to help a sore throat
  • Getting a lot of rest
  • Putting cool wet washcloths on your forehead, arms, and legs to help ease fevers
  • Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) to lower your fever
  • Using a humidifier to make it easier to breathe

On a case-by-case basis, doctors can sometimes prescribe an antiviral medicine to treat the flu, according to the HHS.

The CDC and the HHS also advice pregnant women with the flu to call 911 right away to get emergency medical care if they have any of the following symptoms:

  • Breathing problems, shortness of breath
  • Chest or abdomen pain or pressure
  • Confusion
  • Decreased or no baby movement
  • High fever
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Vomiting that is severe or ongoing

Talk to your doctor to learn more about what to do if you are pregnant and have the flu.

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Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); U.S. Department of Health and Human Services