When you’re pregnant, the last thing you want to be is sick. Swine flu, as most people call it, is something you want to look out for. Your doctor or nurse may call it pH1N1. You can take steps to prevent it and lessen its impact on you both.
If you get pH1N1, chances are it won’t lead to serious health problems. But it may last longer than it would if you weren’t pregnant, and there is a higher chance it could lead to pneumonia. Changes to your immune system during pregnancy make it harder for you to fight infections. Swine flu can lead to early labor and delivery, and in rare cases might hurt your baby.
The best way to protect against swine flu is the seasonal flu shot. Getting the vaccine while you are pregnant helps protect your baby before and after birth.
Aim to get a shot as soon as it’s offered in your area. But even if you don’t get around to it until later in the season, you should still get one. It's safe to get any time during your pregnancy. Pregnant women shouldn't get the nasal spray vaccine.
Like all the flu strains, pH1N1 can be spread through the air -- by coughs or sneezes. It can linger on surfaces, like someone's hand, after the person sneezes into it. Protect yourself and your baby the same way you do against all infections.