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Understanding the Impact of Seasonal Flu on Pregnant Women and Unborn Babies

Flu symptoms during pregnancy
Understanding the Impact of Seasonal Flu on Pregnant Women and Unborn Babies

Author: Dr. Manju Gupta MBBS, MGO, FGO, DGO
Consultant:  Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at Motherhood Hospital, Noida

As an expecting mother, taking care of your health and well-being is of utmost importance for the proper development of your unborn baby. During flu season, it becomes even more critical to understand the potential impact of seasonal flu on pregnant women and their babies. In this article, we will explore the implications of flu during pregnancy and the steps that can be taken to safeguard both maternal and fetal health. 

The Vulnerability of Pregnant Women to Seasonal Flu

Pregnant women are more susceptible to infections due to the natural changes in their immune system. These changes, although designed to protect the developing baby, can also make expectant mothers more prone to viral illnesses such as the flu. Additionally, the increased demands on the body during pregnancy, coupled with respiratory and cardiovascular changes, can exacerbate the severity of flu symptoms in pregnant women.

Potential Risks to the Unborn Baby 

When a pregnant woman contracts the flu, there can be potential risks to the unborn baby. Some of the complications associated with maternal flu may include:

Preterm Birth: In severe cases, the flu can trigger preterm labor, leading to premature birth. Premature babies may face health challenges and require specialized care.

Low Birth Weight: Maternal flu can affect the baby's growth and lead to low birth weight, which may increase the risk of health issues in infancy and beyond.

Birth Defects: While rare, some studies suggest a link between severe maternal flu and certain birth defects. It is important to emphasize that the overall risk of birth defects due to flu is low.

Protective Measures for Pregnant Women Flu Risks For Pregnancy Woman

Taking proactive steps to prevent seasonal flu is essential for the well-being of pregnant women and their babies. Here are some guidelines to consider:

Flu Vaccination: The flu vaccine is safe for pregnant women and is recommended during pregnancy. It not only protects the mother but also provides immunity to the baby during the first few months of life.

Good Hygiene Practices: Regularly washing hands with soap and water, avoiding close contact with sick individuals, and refraining from touching the face can help reduce the risk of flu transmission.

Staying Away from Sick Individuals: If possible, pregnant women should avoid close contact with individuals who have flu-like symptoms.

Seeking Early Treatment: If a pregnant woman experiences flu symptoms such as fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, or fatigue, she should seek medical attention promptly.

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional 

Pregnant women should promptly seek medical advice if they experience flu-like symptoms, especially if they are having difficulty breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, or severe dehydration. Timely medical intervention can prevent complications and safeguard both maternal and fetal health.


Understanding the potential impact of seasonal flu on pregnant women and unborn babies is crucial for taking appropriate preventive measures and seeking timely medical care if needed. By staying informed and following the guidelines provided by healthcare professionals, expectant mothers can ensure a healthy and safe pregnancy for themselves and their precious little ones.

Remember, the best defense against the flu during pregnancy is a combination of proactive measures and seeking medical attention when necessary. Together, we can protect the health of expectant mothers and contribute to the well-being of future generations.

At Motherhood Hospitals we have a team of experienced supers specialists backed by the latest infrastructure and facilities. We have the best woman care in Noida. We are experts in handling complex deliveries, gynaecological, and other surgeries, including various laparoscopic surgeries. 

Do make an appointment with the best maternity hospital at a centre closest to you. Meet with our doctors, who will carry out the required investigations, diagnose the issue and recommend the most appropriate treatment, enabling you to lead an active life. 

If you wish to get in touch with Dr. Manju Gupta, please book your appointment here.

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