By Katie Bancroft The flu pandemic is forcing millions of pregnant women to choose between risking a potentially deadly infection and having their babies prematurely born.
But not all pregnant women are in the same position.
There are ways to protect your baby from the virus without putting you in a hospital and, if you are pregnant, there are also ways to prevent it.
The most common way is to stay at home.
Here are some tips to help you avoid the pandemic and keep your baby healthy.
What are the signs of influenza?
Influenza is a common, flu-like illness.
It causes severe respiratory symptoms and can be caused by many different viruses.
It is the most common of the common colds and the most contagious.
The main symptoms of influenza include:HivesHives are a sign of flu and it can cause severe respiratory problems.
You can’t feel sick or feel unwell, but you may feel tired or have other problems.
The flu can also lead to other symptoms including:VomitingVomits are signs of flu, and they can make you feel ill or even vomit.
If you vomit and have any of these symptoms, call your GP or get to the hospital immediately.
Hives can last up to two weeks.
They are usually mild and usually disappear on their own.
The virus spreads quickly.
How do I get vaccinated?
There are a number of vaccines available for pregnant women.
There is no vaccine for the flu.
You can get vaccinated with a Gardasil vaccine.
Gardasils protect against the virus.
The only way to get a Garda vaccine for a pregnant woman is to get vaccinated against the flu as part of your routine antenatal check-up.
What can I do to prevent the flu?
It is very important to follow these tips when you are at home to avoid being exposed to the flu virus.
Here are some of the things you can do:Make sure your water bottle is always full.
Keep your water bottles out of the reach of other people.
If you drink milk, use only fresh or chilled milk.
If drinking from a glass, make sure you use only a small amount.
If it is more than 3ml, drink it from a separate glass.
Do not drink cold drinks or soup.
If sharing a drink with a partner, you can share the contents of the glass.
If your partner is not using a glass to share your drink, you must still use a clean water bottle to drink from.
Avoid leaving the house in a crowded place.
If a flu vaccine is not available, you should get vaccinated as soon as possible, even if you have to stay home for two weeks or longer.
If all you have is a flu shot, you will still be protected from the flu and the virus can travel quickly between people who are not vaccinated.
What if my baby is sick?
The best thing to do is to keep your child well and make sure they are safe.
The best way to do this is to call your doctor or hospital as soon after your baby is born as possible.
The CDC recommends that you call your child’s GP or hospital immediately if you notice any signs of illness or fever.
This can help reduce the risk of spreading the flu to your baby.
If any of the following symptoms occur, call a doctor:Loss of appetiteLoss or difficulty breathing.
Common symptoms include:CoughSudden coughThe flu can cause coughing and other cough-like symptoms.
The cough is usually not severe, but may include:FeverLoss, swelling, or redness of the skin, throat, or face.
This is a mild cough.
It can usually go away on its own without any symptoms.
It is not contagious and can disappear on its OWN.
If this happens, it is important to call a GP or call the hospital.
You should be cautious about sharing a bed with a pregnant mother who has diarrhoea.
If the baby is not responding well, you may need to take your baby to the doctor or to hospital.
If your baby has a fever, it can also be dangerous.
How can I protect my baby from other flu-related infections?
It’s important to talk to your doctor about all of the options for protecting your baby, including vaccinations, if one of the flu-associated infections does develop.
It’s also important to make sure the vaccine is working as you think it will, and to keep the vaccination diary.
If there are any other problems with your baby’s vaccination, talk to them about them and get vaccinated.
If someone tells you they are getting vaccinated because they have a cold, you are encouraged to take the vaccination.
But there are other things you should do too:Talk to your GP if:There are any symptoms of flu such as fever or cough.
There are signs your baby might be sick.