What if I get the flu during pregnancy?
Flu is very common and contagious, and there is a risk you can catch it whilst you’re pregnant.
In most cases, you’ll get better quickly and won’t need medical intervention other than antiviral medication, but sometimes it can cause complications, and it is important to look out for signs of these.
If you’re pregnant and catch the flu, it’s good to see a GP for more advice.
Complications of flu in pregnancy
There are increased risks of complications during pregnancy because when you’re pregnant, your immune system isn’t as strong as usual.
Bronchitis is a common complication of the flu during pregnancy, which without treatment, can lead to pneumonia. You may also be more likely to experience breathing difficulties, and should look out for signs of dehydration too.
In rarer cases, the flu can cause you to go into premature labour. It may also cause your baby to be born with a low-weight, or be stillborn. Flu may also cause miscarriage in rare cases.
The flu jab and pregnancy
It is advised that you have the vaccination if you’re pregnant to help lower your risk of catching the virus. Not only does it help protect you, but your baby too.
Speak to your midwife or GP for more information on if you should get it and where you can get it. It is available for free if you’re pregnant.
- NHS, Why are pregnant women at higher risk of flu complications?, 20/01/2017.
- Babycentre, Flu in pregnancy, 01/07/2018.
- New Parent Support, Flu in pregnancy, 19/05/2014.