Flu and Pregnancy

When you are pregnant your body undergoes dramatic changes

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

“I was just entering the third trimester of my pregnancy when I thought I caught a cold. When I got a high fever and had difficulty breathing, my partner called the ambulance and luckily they brought me straight to the hospital. My body had to fight a lot during this illness, which turned out to be severe influenza. I was very worried about my pregnancy and my little boy arrived prematurely. Today, he is still underweight. I had totally underestimated how influenza could affect me and my baby.”

* Nothando, 29, project manager – experience of first pregnancy


Back to top

When you are pregnant your body undergoes dramatic changes that affect your immune system, heart rate, and lung function. 1,2

These changes during pregnancy can make you much more likely to get severely ill or can harm to your developing baby, if you catch influenza. 1,2



Back to top

Influenza vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your baby during pregnancy from influenza and reduce the risk of complications.1,6

  • Influenza vaccines are given safely to millions of pregnant women around the world.6
  • You can get vaccinated during any trimester of your pregnancy.1,6
  • Pregnant women are strongly recommended to receive an influenza vaccination.1,8


Back to top

Getting vaccinated during pregnancy can also protect your baby from influenza for up to 6 months after birth, before he or she is old enough to be vaccinated.6,8


*This patient case has been created based scientific studies. Name is fictional. Patient image is a model.1,4,5

  1. CDC Flu and Pregnant Women. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/pregnant.htm. Accessed January 2021.
  2. Rasmussen SA, et al. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 207(3 Suppl):S3-8 (2012).
  3. CDC Fact Sheet. Pregnant? You need a flu shot! CDC 2020. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/pdf/freeresources/pregnant/flushot_pregnant_factsheet.pdf. Accessed January 2021.
  4. Dodds L, et al. CMAJ. 176(4):463-468 (2007).
  5. Cox S, et al. Obstet Gynecol. 107(6):1315-1322 (2006).
  6. CDC. Flu Vaccine Safety and Pregnancy 2020. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/qa_vacpregnant.htm Accessed January 2021
  7. World Health Organization. Factsheet (Influenza). 2018. Available at: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs211/en/ index.html. Accessed January 2021.
  8. CDC Fact Sheet. Making a strong vaccine referral to pregnant women. 2017.
    Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/downloads/fs-hcp-tdap-vaccine-referral.pdf. Accessed January 2021.

sanofi-aventis south africa (pty) ltd., Reg. no.: 1996/010381/07, Floor 5, Building I, Hertford Office Park, 90 Bekker Road, Midrand, 2196. Tel : (011) 256 3700. MAT-ZA-2200849

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

For more health information

Click on the body area you want to know more about. Select a related health topic from the menu

Select a body area
Mental Health
Infant Health
Restlessness and Teething in Babies
Restlessness and Teething in Babies
Although deemed as ‘normal’, teething may be accompanied by a fever, irritability, diarrhoea and poor sleep; amongst other things. Was this ....
There has been a steady increase in the number of flu cases reported recently. This is unusual because the flu season usually runs from March to ....
When is a runny tummy actually diarrhoea, and when to use an antidiarrhoeal? Was this helpful? Submit Cancel Thanks for your ....
Sinuses are spaces in the bones of your cheeks, your forehead and your nose. Was this helpful? Submit Cancel Thanks for your ....
Measles, Mumps and Rubella – MMR
Measles, Mumps and Rubella – MMR
Measles, Mumps and Rubella can be highly infectious diseases1 and can spread through droplets of saliva, inhaled or picked up from surfaces and ....