Flu and Pregnancy

When you are pregnant your body undergoes dramatic changes

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“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

INFLUENZA AND MY BODY DURING PREGNANCY

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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

INFLUENZA CAN PUT YOU AND YOUR BABY AT GREATER RISK OF COMPLICATIONS

Even if you are generally healthy, catching influenza when you are pregnant can put you and your baby at a higher risk of serious complications.1,3

5 X more LIKELY TO BE HOSPITALISED for severe respiratory illness during the influenza season.4

4 X more likely to have PRETERM LABOUR, more likely to have a CAESAREAN DELIVERY.5

2 X increased risk of FOETAL DISTRESS among women with respiratory illness compared to women without.5

 

PROTECT YOURSELF AGAINST INFLUENZA

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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

PASSIVE IMMUNITY AND YOUR BABY

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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.

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