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Protecting Pregnant Women And Newborns From Flu-Like Symptoms: Doctor’s Opinion


Pregnancy is known to be a time of great happiness for expectant parents. But it is also filled with a greater awareness of how to keep the child protected; This is also a time of stressful choices along with medical appointments and medical exams. There are many steps that expectant mothers must take to better care for themselves and their baby’s health. Whether it’s to eat healthier, do prenatal workouts or meditation classes, or read all the tips on being the perfect mom. Equally pressing is the issue of vaccination: those during pregnancy, those that follow after, those of the child and those of the mother! There are lists to follow, doctor’s advice to remember, a single failure can be crucial.

Low vaccination rates

When it comes to vaccinating during pregnancy, India has seen a number of trends. The most common challenge that is the apprehension of many is the low access to vaccines. Lack of knowledge of the recommendations and safety data also leads to the low vaccination rates that we witness in pregnant women. One of the key vaccines that are often ignored, especially in India, is the flu shot. A mandatory recommendation in the USA. USA By the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it’s often relegated to the periphery here.

Flu in pregnant women


It is a known fact that pregnant women have had a higher risk of seasonal and pandemic influenza morbidity and mortality compared to nonpregnant adults. The physiological changes that women undergo during pregnancy further accelerate the risks. A pregnant woman’s immune system is responsible not only for her own health and well-being, but also that of her children. This remains true until the baby is 6 months old. Initially, even after birth, the child depends on the nutrition of breast milk to increase his immunity.

The risks of contracting influenza
The risk of complications from getting the flu is high. Multiple studies of pregnant women with confirmed cases of influenza reported an increased risk of adverse fetal outcomes, including preterm delivery, low birth weight, and an induced need for cesarean section as well.

In fact, during the 2009–2010 H1N1 influenza pandemic, more pregnant women were hospitalized or admitted to intensive care units and had a higher risk of death compared to nonpregnant adults. Babies younger than 6 months have one of the highest rates of influenza-associated hospitalizations, second only to the elderly (over 65 years).

How can a vaccine help?
Flu vaccination remains one of the most effective interventions to prevent serious illness in the mother and baby. Babies depend on passive maternal antibodies for their protection. First recommended to pregnant women in 1960, the influenza vaccine has been extensively studied without proven safety concerns. The current guidelines of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) and the WHO recommend the influenza vaccine for women at all stages of pregnancy.

The Federation of Obstetric and Gynecological Societies of India (FOGSI) recommends influenza vaccination against influenza during pregnancy. Women who have been vaccinated against influenza have been shown to have a lower risk of preterm delivery and low birth weight.


This is why most experts recommend getting a flu shot early in your pregnancy. The flu season in India varies by region, and it’s always best to avoid it and focus on getting pregnant women to see their doctor about the vaccine. If you have recently given birth and were not vaccinated against influenza, taking the vaccine now can help you and your child by giving the necessary antibodies through breast milk.

The key to a healthy and safe pregnancy and delivery is getting the right advice on what to do. Talk to your doctors about the need for these vaccines and be sure to proactively take steps to start conversations about your child’s needs and wants both before and after delivery.


The article has been contributed by Dr. Mukesh Gupta. He is an obstetrician, gynecologist, and infertility specialist who practices at Le Nest Hospital in Malad West, Mumbai. Awarded the “Emerging Star Medicine Award” by the MWSB Indian Medical Association, Dr. Gupta has over 25 years of experience in this field.


The opinions and opinions expressed by physicians are their independent professional judgment and we assume no responsibility for the accuracy of their opinions. This should not be considered as a substitute for medical advice. Consult your treating physician for more details.

This article has been produced on behalf of Abbott India Mothers Against Influenza Initiative, by the Times Internet Spotlight team.

Times of India