Get the flu vaccine

Lower your risk of catching the flu during pregnancy by getting a flu vaccine. The flu vaccine is safe at all stages of pregnancy.

"A flu vaccine helps your immune system produce antibodies to fight the flu infection and helps your baby inherit these antibodies as well," says Associate Professor Tan Thiam Chye, Head and Senior Consultant, Inpatient Service, Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), a member of the SingHealth group, "your baby is then equipped to fight off possible flu infections, even before he or she is born."

Generally, flu vaccinations should be done annually, as the vaccine is updated with the latest seasonal flu strains.

Practise good hygiene habits

You may also consider wearing a face mask if your immune system is down. If your spouse or a family member is down with the flu, it is best to minimise contact with them. You may consider sleeping in a separate room until your spouse has recovered.

Carrying a hand sanitiser and alcohol wipes when you’re out in public or using public transportation can also help keep your hands germ-free.

Boost your immune system through a balanced diet

Though no foods have been proven to prevent the flu, eating foods rich in vitamin C and zinc may help boost your immune system and fight infections faster.

Drinking plenty of water also helps prevent dehydration and keeps your mucous membranes – your first line of defence against germs – in good shape.

Get exercise and plenty of rest

To prevent the flu and other infections, you may do some trimester-appropriate exercises. It’s also important for you to get enough rest so that your immune system remains strong.

See previous page on the risks and complications that can arise from flu during pregnancy.

Ref: Q15