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Expecting a baby during flu season?

Newspapers, web pages, and the evening news have constant reminders of the people who are a priority for receiving flu vaccines (particularly H1N1). Are you on the list? If you are pregnant, you probably already know that you are in the high priority group for receiving the vaccination for the H1N1 flu.

Whatever the time of year, it is not too late to get a flu shot. The nasal flu vaccine is NOT recommended for pregnant women, because it has not been tested in pregnant women. If you are allergic to eggs, you should not get any type of flu vaccine.

Prevention is critical

So if you’re a healthy person with a health pregnancy, what is the concern? Studies have shown that the flu usually lasts three times longer in pregnant women. Complications of the flu can include bacterial pneumonia and dehydration, both of which are especially serious for pregnant women. Expectant women are more likely to be hospitalized because of flu complications than women of the same age who are not pregnant.

Protect yourself by avoiding people who are sick, washing your hands frequently, and keeping your hands (and germs) away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.

If you do get sick, it is important to contact your health care provider right away. As with all medications (including over the counter ones) during pregnancy, talk to your health care provider about what is safe.

Extra Safety

Many hospitals, including the University of Michigan Health System are taking extra precautions to keep patients safe, like revised visitor policies during flu season. The UMHS policy “Temporary Visitor Rules for all U-M Health System Facilities” is online.

Home From the Hospital

You and your family members can help protect your baby by reminding visitors to wash their hands and of course never to visit when they’re sick.

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