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Concerns over pregnancy and swine flu: advice for pregnant women

 - Concerns over pregnancy and swine flu: advice for pregnant women
Mums-to-be run a higher risk of catching swine flu because the immune system is naturally suppressed during pregnancy, and they are also more likely to develop complications such as pneumonia. These risks of complications are greater during the second and third trimesters. There have been over 100, 000 new cases of swine flu in the UK over the past week, and while most have been mild, the government has issued special advice concerning pregnancy: 
At present, pregnant women are not advised to avoid work, public transport, events and family gatherings, but you can take the following precautions to reduce the risk of infection: 

- Avoid unecessary travel and crowds where possible.
- Avoid people who are infected or think they may have swine flu. If someone close to you or someone in your family has swine flu, your doctor may prescribe antiviral medication as a precaution.

In addition, make sure you maintain the advised levels of hygiene to reduce the risk of catching and spreading swine flu:  
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue if you cough of sneeze
  • Dispose of dirty tissues immediately
  • Clean hard surfaces such as door handles frequently.
What should I do if I think I have swine flu?
A National Pandemic Flu Service and website have  been set up for inquiries and diagnosis. However, pregnant women should phone their GP immediately if they suspect they have swine flu. Early diagnosis is important. A friend or relative will be able to pick up medication if it is required, but you should not go into a doctor's surgery or hospital to avoid spreading the disease.

Chat with other mums-to-be in our Pregnancy forums.  


Sarah Horrocks
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