Flu during pregnancy: how to treat it

Flu during pregnancy: how to treat it

Written by Gladys González

Last update: 27 December, 2022

Pregnant women have to take care of themselves more gently to avoid problems like cough and flu. When you find out that you’re going to become a mother, you need to take a few things into account that will help you look out for your health.

Simple problems like flu during pregnancy can become a real headache because it will make you feel weak; discomfort will be heightened and you will need to see a doctor to guide you through your treatment.

The flu is an illness that doesn’t pose a great threat, but can last for several days. Of course, it doesn’t pass without leaving consequences. Children and the elderly react very differently from adults.

Prevention is considered the best remedy to the flu. 

That said, being pregnant isn’t synonymous with being ill, although it’s not a myth that we become more susceptible to conditions that involve the respiratory system. The cause that explains this phenomena is simple: the immune system doesn’t react with the same strength when you’re carrying a little one in your womb.

On the other hand, as long as our baby is growing, they take up more space in our womb and put pressure on our lungs, which causes breathing problems and the heart works at a reduced rate. All of this influences things so future mothers are more likely to get a cold or a respiratory virus.

How to prevent flu during pregnancy?

woman with the flu during pregnancy

According to scientific studies, there are about 8 kinds of viruses that can lead to a cold, such as influenza, which is very common in pregnant women. To prevent complications, like lung damage or pneumonia, it’s essential to be treated by a specialist in time.

In fact, even though influenza has not been linked to changes in the fetus, some experts say that it can lead to premature birth or affect the baby’s birth weight.

In this context, prevention is considered the best remedy. In the case of this virus, it’s important to get vaccinated annually even if you aren’t expecting any little ones yet. And what if you’re already “in the family way” and you haven’t been vaccinated? Don’t worry. You still have time.

On the other hand, you can follow these tips to stay safe from the flu:

  • Drink lots of liquid at all times: choose fresh water or natural juices. These drinks will help clean out your body and raise vitamin and mineral levels.
  • Whenever you have the chance, rest and avoid stressful situations that leave you susceptible. 
  • Maintain a balanced diet that includes delicious vegetables, fruits and foods rich in fiber so that you have the resources necessary to confront negative situations.
  • Don’t just stay in. Go for a walk or play some kind of sport that gets you moving. Don’t stay sedentary, but don’t force yourself too much.
  • Reduce caffeine consumption and put aside all bad habits, like smoking. 

Home remedies to treat the flu

A mild fever, nasal congestion, cough, sore throat, chills, loss of appetite, and headache are some of the symptoms that expose this illness in moms. You may surely end up feeling very bad, so ask for a little TLC from your loved ones so you get better soon.

You can ask them to make these home remedies for the flu:

  • If your throat is bothering you and you are coughing a lot, it will do you good to have a hot drink with lemon and honey. Gargling with salt water is a good idea, too.
  • To relieve nasal congestion: put a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a tissue and inhale several times.
  • Inhaling steam is excellent for clearing your airways. Another option is to put on the hot water in the shower and breathe in the steam being released.

When should I see a doctor?

Woman blowing her nose

If these symptoms don’t go away after a few days, don’t hesitate to talk to your trusted medical professional. It’s likely that you have a secondary infection that will require specialized treatment.

Influenza can move labor forward or affect your baby’s weight.

Trust your doctor’s recommendations and let your family take care of household chores. Rest up and get better to stay strong in this beautiful period… Your little one needs you more than ever because you are their heroine.


This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.