Is The Flu Worse During Pregnancy? Science Explains

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Getting the flu sucks. In 2009, the year after I had my son, I totally spaced and forgot to get my flu shot. When your husband is a police officer, and therefore exposed to every virus known to man, this is a really bad idea. My husband and son both got theirs, but I got lost in the fray. I came down with the worst flu of my life, and miserable doesn’t begin to cover how I felt. What if it’d happened just the year before? Is the flu worse during pregnancy, or does it just suck across the board?

Getting the flu is horrible no matter when you get it, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the changes that occur in your body during pregnancy increase the effects and the possible damage done by the flu virus. Not only are you in an immunocompromised state during your pregnancy, but your heart and lungs undergo significant changes while you’re pregnant that exacerbate the symptoms of influenza, increasing the danger of a disease that is already possibly deadly.

Beyond the dangers to you that the flu represents, there are also dangers to your unborn baby. According to The March of Dimes, women who experience the flu during pregnancy are more likely to go into labor early — before 37 weeks. There is also the risk of birth defects associated with the high fever that typically accompanies flu.

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According to the American…

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