Flu, caused by the influenza virus, is a common ailment that you may have encountered a few times. In fact, often you may mistake flu for the common cold. It is because some symptoms of flu are the same as that of the common cold. But, flu is a more serious illness. It may cause severe problems, especially if you are pregnant.
One way to stay safe from the flu is to get vaccinated. But, there is always an element of doubt whether the flu vaccine is safe during pregnancy or not.
Before we get on to the main topic, we take a look at what flu is.
What Is flu?
Influenza or the flu is a contagious and serious illness. It affects the nose, throat and lungs. Few more facts on it are:
- During flu, immune systems become suppressed. It can cause mild to severe sickness.
- If proper treatment is not undertaken at an early stage, it may prove fatal.
6 Early Signs And Symptoms:
Following are the early signs and symptoms you may spot:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Dizziness or inactiveness
- Non-movement of your fetus
- Body ache and headache
- Running nose and cough
- Sore throat
How Can It Harm You?
There are several reasons why you need to protect yourself from the flu:
- Catching flu during pregnancy can complicate your condition. It can lead to premature birth.
- It can also cause pneumonia or bronchitis.
- The virus can affect your unborn child, causing low birth weight or growth related problems.
Is Flu Vaccine Safe For Pregnant Women?
The general verdict is that the vaccine for flu does not cause any hazards for pregnant women. The benefits of taking the jab are mentioned below:
- It creates immunity against flu and related diseases. Several viruses attact you since the defense system of the body is weak during pregnancy.
- It is also beneficial for the unborn baby, as some antibodies pass on to your baby. Protection is important because newborns cannot be administered a vaccine until they are six-months-old.
When To Take Flu Vaccine?
The vaccine can be taken at any stage of pregnancy.
- It is mostly administered before the flu season, which is between October and March.
- In case you had taken the vaccine some time before you got pregnant, it still works for you.
- If you had taken the vaccine during the previous season, then getting it again is advisable.
Doubts Regarding Flu Vaccine In Pregnancy:
While the medical fraternity recommends taking the vaccine, there are a few doubts regarding its efficacy:
- In rare cases, the vaccine can cause miscarriage when taken in the early stage of pregnancy.
- Some pharmaceutical companies use mercury as a component of the vaccine. It is not safe for pregnant women.
Precautions While Taking The Flu Vaccine:
There are a few precautions you must excercise before you take the vaccince:
- Always ask for the vaccine injection. Do not opt for the nasal spray variant of the vaccine. The injection has inactivated virus while the spray uses weak alive virus.
- If you have faced some allergies or other problems in the past after taking the vaccine, then you should be careful. Consult a doctor before getting the shot.
- Take the vaccine only if you are healthy and if you don’t show any symptoms of illness.
- Ask the chemist or the person administering the vaccine to check whether there is mercury in the vaccine or not.
- In case you are allergic to eggs, inform your doctor. You may be advised a variant that does not contain any egg protein.
5 Effective Home Treatment Ways:
If you see any flu signs, here are some simple steps which can be followed at home:
- Take adequate rest and drink plenty of water.
- Use clean clothes and wash your hands properly, as it will lower down the infection level.
- Using warm salt water for gargling will minimize cough and sore throat.
- Take healthy diet and do exercise regularly.
- To avoid difficulty in breathing, you can use a humidifier.
Some people think that taking the flu vaccine can cause flu. But this is not true since the vaccine contains dead viruses.
We hope the article has helped you get a clear picture of how does the flu vaccine help during pregnancy. For related information, do write to us in the comment box below. We will come up with a well-researched article on it.