PLEASE NOTE: This article is not intended to scare. Rather, share information and relevant facts released by NSW Health to inform, equip and educate women about flu and pregnancy.
Following the recent flu outbreaks sweeping across the country, NSW Health has released important information regarding flu and pregnancy, and why pregnant women need to be extra vigilant and take care this flu season.
As we reported late last week, Australia has been hit by the worst flu outbreak on record, with the total number of reported cases being over 70,000 – with 30,000 cases being reported in the last month.
Catching a cold when pregnant can be a little problematic for some. The main reason being, most over-the-counter cold and flu remedies and treatments are not recommended during pregnancy.
Here are 5 things you need to know about flu and pregnancy
1. Flu can be risky for pregnant women
Complications can arise for pregnant women and their unborn babies if they contract the flu, such as a premature birth or birth problems.
“Getting the flu can cause serious problems when you are pregnant. Even if you are generally healthy, changes in immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make you more likely to get severely ill from the flu,” NSW Health has published.
“Pregnant women who get the flu are at higher risk of hospitalisation than non-pregnant women.
“Severe illness during your pregnancy can also be dangerous to your developing baby because it increases the chance for significant problems, such as premature labour and delivery.”
It is important for pregnant women who are suffering with more than just a little sniffle, to visit their doctor and get checked out.
2. Being pregnant can make you more susceptible to contracting flu
Pregnancy can actually lower your body’s natural defences against illnesses, making your immune system weaker.
So, taking extra precautions this flu season (for example avoiding contact with ill people and eating healthily) is ideal for keeping the flu at bay.
“Keep away from people you know are sick with flu. Make sure your family and friends know not to visit if they are unwell. Avoid crowded places where there may be other people sick with flu,” suggests NSW Health.
3. Practice good hygiene
Make sure you are germ aware and practice good hygiene. Wash your hands thoroughly (with warm water and soap) before eating, preparing food and touching your eyes. Again, it’s reiterated to stay away from infected people
“Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing, use disposable tissues, and dispose of tissues immediately after use,” says the release.
“Wash your hands regularly, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.”
4. You can take the flu vaccine if you are pregnant
“The vaccine is safe for both the pregnant woman and her baby when given during pregnancy. There is no evidence of an increased risk of problems for mothers or their babies when the mother is given a flu shot during pregnancy,” reveals NSW Health.
“The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) strongly recommends influenza vaccination for pregnant women to protect both the mother and the baby.”
5. Load up on essential nutrients
Many people lose their appetite when they are feeling unwell. However, this can be an issue for pregnant women who need extra nutrition for their growing baby.
Make sure you rest, drink plenty of fluids and load up on essential vitamins will help you feel better sooner. Think citrus fruits and vitamin C sources like oranges, kiwi fruits and berries.
If you are pregnant and are showing signs of the flu, and or have questions about the flu while pregnant, we recommend you book in an apportionment with your doctor.
Early symptoms of the flu can include (but are not limited to):
- body aches and chills
- sore throat
- gastrointestinal problems
For more on pregnant women and influenza visit NSW Health website.
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The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie offers an excellent source of essential vitamins, minerals, nutrients & important antioxidants. It does not contain any weight loss accelerants, caffeine, no gluten and is dairy free.
Pregnant women need additional calories and nutrients in pregnancy and our Pregnancy Smoothie and Eating & Exercise Book have been specially formulated to help women reach these additional calorie and nutrient needs.
The Healthy Mummy Pregnancy Smoothie is designed to complement, not replace, your prenatal vitamin intake. Our nutritionists ensured that the vitamins and minerals in the smoothie are at a low level so there is no risk of doubling up on any pregnancy vitamins.
It is ideal as a high-protein, high-calcium snack in pregnancy. You can download the Pregnancy Smoothie Label here