As the weather gets colder, we’re not the only ones who suffer. Unfortunately, so do the bugs. Pregnant women are especially susceptible to viruses because their immune system is suppressed. This means they’re more likely to catch swine flu and other cold and flu viruses. If they do catch it, they’re also more likely to develop complications.
The best way to stay healthy during the cold and flu season is a combination of prevention and treatment. Pregnant women should get a flu shot as soon as possible and take steps to avoid exposure to sick people. If they do get sick, they should see a doctor right away and start antiviral medication if recommended.
If you do happen to get sick, a fever can actually be a good thing. This is how your body fights infection. However, fevers can be very serious when you are pregnant because they can cause the baby to overheat and in early pregnancy, there is an increased risk of neural tube defects. If you have a fever, call your doctor for advice on how to treat it.
Your doctor may recommend a flu shot during your pregnancy, but they are not recommended for all women. If you are allergic to eggs, you can’t get the flu shot because the virus grows in eggs for the vaccine. Also remember that the flu shot is not foolproof and will only protect your body from one form of the virus. You will need to continue to take precautions to avoid getting another illness.
There are other ways to protect yourself during the cold and flu season.
-Disinfecting and cleaning surfaces is a great way to help prevent the spread of germs, but it’s also important to make sure you’re washing your hands frequently too. A simple solution of ten parts water to one part bleach can be used as a disinfectant spray in areas like the kitchen and bathroom, and it’s also a good idea to have hand sanitizer nearby, so you can clean your hands if you don’t have access to soap and water.
-As soon as you start to feel sick, go to bed and get some rest. Your body needs time to heal and plenty of sleep will help with that. Try to prop your head up with a few pillows, so you can breathe better. Avoid being in overheated rooms. If the air in your house is dry, get a humidifier to help with that. And make sure you wrap up warm.
-It’s best to avoid strenuous exercise when you’re pregnant, especially if you start to experience backaches. Back injuries are more common during pregnancy, so it’s wise to ask someone else to shovel the snow for you instead!
-Eat a balanced diet that includes lots of fruits and vegetables.
-Be sure to drink plenty of fluids, especially water, to avoid becoming dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches, dizziness, and fatigue, so it’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re active.
-There is evidence to support the use of natural remedies, rather than medications, whenever possible. Some of grandma’s remedies have been found to be effective in studies. Chicken soup has been found to be an effective way of relieving cold symptoms.
Gargling with a small spoon of salt water a few times each day can help relieve a sore throat. This home remedy is simple, effective, and gentle on the throat. You can also try drinking tea with honey to help soothe congestion and sore throats.