September 23, 2009 - We are a national coalition of health care and information providers for pregnant women and children with an urgent message for pregnant women concerning influenza. The normal changes of pregnancy make pregnant women at increased risk of the harmful effects of flu infection. For the health of pregnant women and their developing babies, please take this message seriously.
1. Pregnant women are at increased risk for serious disease and even death from pandemic H1N1 influenza infection.
2. Pregnant women, who have flu-like symptoms such as fever, cough and sore throat should contact their pregnancy care provider immediately so that flu medications can be started and further instructions can be given by their provider. They may also begin treating their fever with acetaminophen (for example, Tylenol).
3. Pregnant women should also speak to their pregnancy care provider if they have come in close contact with someone who has flu-like symptoms.
4. We strongly recommend all pregnant women receive immunization for seasonal flu NOW and H1N1 flu as soon as this vaccine becomes available. The immunizations pregnant women receive are safe and provide flu protection for both themselves and their newborns.
5. Pregnant women can protect themselves from the flu by washing their hands frequently, by encouraging their family to do the same, and by avoiding contact with sick people.
H1N1 is a new virus and issues around management may change over time. Up to date information can be found through your prenatal health care provider or on the CDC web site: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu. This coalition will be giving future information for pregnant women if it is needed.
Use of trade names and commercial sources is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by the undersigned organizations.
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
American College of Nurse-Midwives
American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses
Infectious Disease Society for Obstetrics and Gynecology
March of Dimes Foundation
Society of Maternal and Fetal Medicine
Read the news release on flu shots during pregnancy.