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Flu During Pregnancy

Flu During Pregnancy...

As a pregnant woman you are more vulnerable to colds and flu.

This is because during pregnancy, your immune system is often weakened which can make you more vulnerable to infections, such as coughs, colds and flu.
Flu During Pregnancy

Due to immune suppression you also have a higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, which in severe cases can be fatal.

No matter how you try to be fit and healthy during the course of your pregnancy, there are still times when illnesses, such as influenza, inevitably come.

Conditions such as influenza can really be harmful for you as it increases your risks for more serious health conditions.

Compared to pre-pregnancy, your immune system during pregnancy is less responsive. Your immune system understands that it is safe to have a baby, so it lowers its ability to protect your body.

In effect, you are very likely to catch illnesses and infections including flu.

What is Influenza?

Commonly known as flu, influenza is a type of disease which is easily spread from one person to another.

Anyone can be affected by influenza and to some people, it can really be life-threatening.

Symptoms of Influenza

Most people who are diagnosed with flu usually share the same symptoms. More often than not, the symptoms of influenza last for a couple of days.

However, for pregnant women, children and adult, symptoms can manifest for a longer period of time.

These symptoms include...

Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headaches, extreme tiredness, muscle and body aches, diarrhoea, vomiting etc.

If you are pregnant, you should be extra aware of the changes that are taking place in your body most especially when you have been diagnosed with influenza.

Immediately call a health care provider when you start feeling these symptoms...

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Confusion
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Persistent severe vomiting
  • High fever
  • Your baby moves less or doesn't move at all
  • Symptoms that fade but eventually come back with worst cough and fever
  • Pressure and pain in the belly area.

How Flu is Spread

As mentioned earlier, influenza is a highly contagious disease.

When someone who has been diagnosed with influenza speaks, sneezes or coughs, the virus which causes flu is dispersed into the air.

Breathing the same air increases your risk for this condition.

Touching something which has flu virus can also trigger the onset of flu. When you touch something which has a flu virus and then you touch your eyes, nose and mouth, it can cause flu.

How Influenza Affects Pregnancy

Pregnant women who have been diagnosed with influenza are at a greater risk for more serious health complications.

They are at higher risk for pneumonia which can really be fatal and deadly if left untreated.

Also, flu during pregnancy increases your risk for premature birth and pre-term delivery.

This premature delivery usually occurs before the 37th week of pregnancy. As commonly known, premature birth increases the health risks of babies.

Furthermore, influenza during pregnancy greatly affects your immune system.

Your immune system plays a vital role in protecting your body against diseases and illnesses.

When flu is diagnosed, your immune system needs to work harder to fight it.

How to Treat Influenza

If you have been diagnosed with influenza, always consult with and follow your doctor's prescription to keep your baby's health and safety guarded.

Your doctor can prescribe medicines which are considered safe for your pregnancy.

Always try to get a good rest. Also, even if you don't have good appetite, try to eat smaller meals to expedite your recovery.

And lastly, drink plenty of fluids. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of recommended fluids everyday. It can really help in making you feel better.

Never forget to take your prenatal vitamins. Vitamin C is beneficial in fighting off infections and boosting your immune system, while zinc helps in fighting off germs.

As much as possible, increase your intake of foods rich in Vitamin C to expedite your recovery from flu.

Here are some things you can do to help alleviate some of the discomforts that can accompany colds or flu...

1. Getting Enough Sleep
When you're coming down with flu or a cold the best thing for you to do is get plenty of sleep.

Sleep is one of life's essentials to heal and repair itself. Sleep actually increase immune functions that help your body to fight infection.

2. Exercise
Exercise can help boost your circulation and immune system. It will help your body to fight illness and recover faster from illness.

3. Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
This will give you minerals and antioxidant vitamins, that are essential to fight infections.

Though you might not feel like eating, you must try to eat a slice of high-fiber wholemeal toast and drink freshly squeezed juices. It's packed with vitamins.

4. Stop Smoking
Smoking or breathing in other people's smoke can make cold and flu worse. Paternal smoking can also harm your unborn baby.

When you smoke, the chemicals pass from you into your baby's bloodstream that can affect your baby's development.

5. For Stuffy Nose
Using a humidifier or warm steam from hot showers can help in the treatment of congestion. You can also rub a mentholated product on your chest or under your nostrils.

This can help clear a stuffy nose so you can breathe easier.

Never take medicines unless your doctor gives a go signal. As commonly known, some medicines are not safe to take when you have flu during pregnancy and it may cause adverse effects to the health of your baby.

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