SSM Health Medical Minute: Flu and pregnancy

ST. LOUIS - The flu is dangerous enough for the average person, but it’s especially dangerous for moms-to-be.

"So pregnancy poses unique health risks for patients with all infections, but influenza specifically, especially co-morbidities, which is asthma or other lung conditions," said SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital Lake St. Louis OB/GYN, Dr. Thomas Ganz. "We definitely see an increasing rate of pregnant women who have serious complications from, influenza that leads to either hospitalization admission to the intensive care units or even maternal death."

Dr. Ganz says pregnant women who have the flu or flu-like symptoms should avoid broad over the counter multi-symptom cold and flu medications. But the prescription Tamiful is ok.

"For patients who come in with flu-like symptoms who have a high suspicion for them having influenza or they test positive for influenza, Tamiflu is a medication definitely that's been proven to help reduce duration and severity of the influenza infection in pregnant patients," Ganz said.

Expectant mothers should check with their OB/GYN before taking medications to ensure they are ok for the baby.

To learn more about what to expect when you are expecting click here.

The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Thursday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.