and Flu During Pregnancy
if I catch a cold or flu during pregnancy?
During the course
of your pregnancy, it is possible that you may catch a cold or flu virus.
Because your immune system is affected during pregnancy, your symptoms
may persist longer than usual. Nasal stuffiness is very common in pregnancy
because of hormonal effects on the nasal passages. If other cold symptoms
are not present, you probably do not have a cold.
measures may help to make me feel more comfortable?
If you should catch
a cold or flu, the following measures may help to make you feel more comfortable:
- Increase your
fluid intake to eight to 10 glasses of liquids per day. Water is important,
of course, but juices, pop and both all provide extra fluids, as well
as nutritional intake at a time when your appetite may be decreased.
- If you do not
feel like eating, try to maintain your nutritional intake with six small
meals instead of three regular size meals.
- Increase your
- You may want to
elevate your head to enhance breathing and decrease post-nasal drip.
- Use a steamer
to help loosen secretions. If you do not have a steamer, you can sit
with a towel draped over your head and shoulders over a pan of steaming
water. Cool vapor from a vaporizer may also be helpful.
- If you are having
pain in your sinus area, the areas above and below your eyes and across
your cheekbones, apply warm compresses to help alleviate the congestion.
if I have a temperature?
Monitor your temperature
at least once daily, and call your health care professional if your temperature
rises over 101 oF. You should also call the clinic if you begin
to cough up green/yellow sputum or experience shortness of breath, persistent
chest pain, or severe sore throat. If you are less than 12 weeks pregnant,
or more than 38 weeks, we prefer that you use no medication unless
recommended by your physician.
over-the-counter medications can I take during pregnancy?
After 12 weeks of
pregnancy, you may use the following over-the-counter medications sparingly
for cold symptoms according to package directions:
- Sudafed nasal
- Robitussin and
Robitussin DM cough syrups
- Expectorant during
daytime hours (to help bring secretions up)
- Suppressant at
night (to help control cough and promote rest)
- Vicks plain cough
- Tylenol (generic
name acetaminophen) for aches, pains, and temperatures over 100 oF
When you catch the
flu with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea, it is important to maintain
your nutritional intake. A liquid diet is the best way to do this, as
liquids enable the bowel and/or stomach to rest. A clear liquid diet consists
of juices, pop, water, Jello, ice chips, broth, and Popsicles.
Once you have tolerated
clear liquids, a very nutritious shake can be made in a blender with ice
cream or milk and fruit of your choice. Dry carbohydrates, such as toast
or crackers, may be helpful once your appetite begins to return. If there
is no improvement in your symptoms after 24 hours, you should call your
health care professional.