Just days after I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, I was whammed in the face with a hard-core flu. Flu with a severity that I hadn’t experienced in years.
Here I was waiting for the morning sickness to begin and get blind-sided by the winter blues.
The aches and pains, the cough that brings on stomach cramps, the sore head and constant sinus pain and fever. The joy of it all, plus, because you are lucky enough to be pregnant, you are limited in what you can medicate with.
I assumed that being pregnant meant you must just suffer it all but I recently discovered this doesn’t necessarily need to be the case.
See, assuming only makes an ass out of you and me… Like that? It is one of my favourites.
Pregnant women and their babies can safely be on the defence of the winter blues with the influenza vaccination. In fact, it is actually recommended and has been made free for those in the high-risk category, like pregnant women.
Influenza is something I know I take a little more light hearted than I should and it isn’t until you are in the grips of it that you see it with a different frame of mind. The fact is that influenza may not only affect the mother but also the unborn child and a flu vaccination can help protect them both.
Babies know how to take care of themselves while they are nestled in your womb for the most part. They know the score and those little leaches will suck all of the fabulous anti-bodies they can get. This in turn lowers the mother’s immune system, giving pregnant women an increased risk of influenza. Lucky huh!
Contracting influenza may cause pregnant women complications that can include hospitalisation, intensive care admission and pre-term delivery. Nasty stuff I know, but definitely things you want to arm yourself against.
And arm yourself and your baby you will, as children born to vaccinated mothers have a reduced risk of contracting influenza in the first 6 month of life. A baby with a snuffy nose is bad enough and can keep you up at night and I don’t want to even think of having to deal with anything worse.
These facts on the heaviness of influenza are all new to me. Like I said earlier, I assumed there was nothing you could do or take once you are pregnant, but really the truth is that there isn’t much you can do once influenza is already upon you.
The one big thing you can do before hand is to prevent it.
If you are pregnant or trying to become pregnant speak to your GP about getting the influenza vaccination (free for pregnant women) before the depths of winter really creep in.
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