Flu During Pregnancy, Reassurance? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 01-18-2013, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been fighting something (Pretty sure it's the flu), for the last two days. While I was looking up information on pregnancy and the flu, and ways to find relief, I kept crossing upon websites that said that if you have the flu, you are substantially more likely to experience preterm labor, preterm birth, and stillbirth, and now I'm freaking out. Several websites I read said the risk for stillbirth was 91%, and that's really freaking me out. I have been resting, drinking as many liquids as I can, taking tylenol to reduce the fever, etc.

 

I keep trying to reassure myself that babe is still active, and no decrease in activity, so everything will be fine, but then I think that I'm not in labor yet, so I could still go into labor too early, or that the baby could be stillborn. It's especially scary to me because my SIL lost her baby (not to the same thing, but still...), and I don't feel quite so invincible anymore.

 

Anyone have experience with having the flu, and everything being okay? Or advice?


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#2 of 9 Old 01-18-2013, 09:09 PM
 
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I don't have any research, but I can say I had the flu at least 4 times when pregnant with DD2 and the stomach virus another few times.  She was born healthy at 40+1 at 9 lbs, 12 oz.

 

Sorry you are worried.  Hope you feel better soon.


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#3 of 9 Old 01-18-2013, 09:57 PM
 
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The biggest risk is earlier in pregnancy when the organ systems are forming. I would try not to stress yourself out about it.

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#4 of 9 Old 01-20-2013, 06:59 PM
 
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I meant to respond to this the other day in our DDC, but forgot...  

 

Anyway, I had the flu pretty badly in my 3rd trimester with DD2.  Lasted about 2 weeks and was horribly miserable, but eventually we conquered it and it went away.  She was perfectly fine and lasted the entire 40 weeks.  It's hard not to freak yourself out, I definitely know. ;)


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#5 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 08:17 AM
 
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(What everyone else said).  

Don't stress out on this but monitor your body while you are sick.   High fever, problems catching your breathe, can't get out of bed - see a doctor.   

I had the H1N1 swine flu 7 months pregnant with my son in 2009 and it got through it will sleep, fluids, elderberry, oscillococcinum and nutrition.  PS-  I went to 42 weeks to the day, like my first baby so it didn't  affect the outcome of my child's delivery.

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#6 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 09:22 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by bmcneal View Post

 

Several websites I read said the risk for stillbirth was 91%, and that's really freaking me out. I have been resting, drinking as many liquids as I can, taking tylenol to reduce the fever, etc.

 

I keep trying to reassure myself that babe is still active, and no decrease in activity, so everything will be fine,

 

an actual risk of 91% sounds completely unreasonable. Are you sure it wasn't 91% higher risk of stillbirth if you have the flu? In other words, going from 0.6% (the overall risk for all pregnancies on average) to about 1% (a little less than doubling)?

 

The American Pregnancy Association doesn't even list viral infections as a risk factor for stillbirth, although bacterial infections in the second trimester are a risk factor. Therefore even a 91% increase in stillbirths seems shockingly high to me.

 

As long as your baby is active and you nurture yourself so you can stay hydrated and recover, I'd try not to stress too much.


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#7 of 9 Old 01-21-2013, 10:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you, everyone!

 

I ended up going to the ER yesterday afternoon, after having a fever of between 101 and 102 since Thursday, I couldn't get it to come down, even with Tylenol, and was coughing up so much stuff DF insisted I go to ER because he was worried I got pneumonia. They did flu swab, which came back negative, so it isn't the flu, then gave me two bags of IV fluids and some Zofran for nausea. I feel quite a bit better, but still have a ways to go before I'm healthy again.


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#8 of 9 Old 01-22-2013, 07:21 AM
 
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Those flu swabs only have a sensitivity rate of 50-70%.  You could still have the flu (I'd take both of my kids in with the same symptoms and one would test positive and the other wouldn't!).  You could also have a bacterial infection.  Did they swab you for a culture?    

 

I remember how hard it was to be pregnant during cold and flu season with my last baby!  I must have gotten sick every 3-4 weeks in the last half of my gestation.   I hope you recover quickly, and watch those symptoms!

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#9 of 9 Old 01-22-2013, 12:01 PM
 
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Hi - not sure if reassuring or not, but here's my experience:

 

I declined the flu vaccine this year, due to my pregnancy. I did swab positive for Influenza A (the more severe strain) just before Christmas. I felt horrible - physically bad, and also emotionally very guilty that I had (perhaps) endangered my unborn child, albeit unintentionally.

 

My OB told me these things:

 

1. Most "bad" outcomes associated with flu are when mom is in first trimester, which was good news for me at almost 30 weeks; and good for you at, I believe, 25 weeks or so.

 

2. High, unrelenting fever is the most concerning/dangerous symptom - so treat aggressively with appropriate dose of Tylenol/other fever treatment with which you are comfortable. Manaing your fever is the key. FWIW, I took Tylenol around the clock for the two days when I was the most sick, although I did not really have an appreciable fever - maybe 99.5 at the most (which is also good news).

 

3. Even all the recent hubub about flu and autism etc reports that they do not want to concern mothers who are pregnant and get the flu - the links are not causal. The vast majority of moms who get the flu during pregnancy go on to have perfectly normal delivieries and babies.  So try not to worry.

 

4. Even if you swab negative, you can still have flu.

 

5. Even if you get flu, you should still consider the vaccine to prevent getting a second case/different strain. I have not yet gotten the shot; am debating with myself ;) but probably will at this point. I was very, very sick, and it was very scary to all of us. However I may wait until I deliver (which was my plan all along) in 6 weeks or so... stay tuned.

 

GOOD LUCK! I hope you're feeling better by now. So sorry you're sick. Not fun at all.

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