Once you know that you are pregnant, your doctor would give you plenty of instructions along with do’s and don’ts list. During the first visit to your doctor would request for complete checkup for analyzing the blood sample and urine sample. She would also collect necessary information about your general health and the list of any medication(s) you are currently taking. From then on, you need to follow the instructions of your doctor by taking healthy diet and avoiding any medications unless specified.
Any drug that you take during pregnancy can affect the unborn child inviting complications. It is quite common for many of us to take OTC medications for common cold and fever. But you should not do such thing once your pregnancy is confirmed. You don’t want your baby to have any health problem due to commonly used drugs.
Getting the symptoms of cold and flu is common during pregnancy and is quite common during the first month of pregnancy. As per the recommendations given by the University of Michigan Health System, you should avoid taking any medications during the first trimester of pregnancy. First 12 weeks is the critical time for the development of vital organs for the baby and any drug/medication taken during this period can interfere with the overall health of the baby.
The following Lists Of Common Medications Are Not Considered Safe For The Baby :
- Nasal strips used for nasal congestion
- Menthol rub used on the chest and temples
- Lozenges and cough drops
- Tylenol and similar drugs for treating pains and aches
- Mylanta and similar medications used for treating nausea and heartburn
- Cough suppressant drugs and expectorants and other cough syrups
- Aspirin, Advil and naproxen
- Avoid taking any antibiotic and antiviral drugs totally unless given by your doctor.
- During the first 3 months of pregnancy even small things can affect the development of the baby.
Paracetamol has been widely used for getting relief from fever, and body pain. It is safe to take paracetamol during pregnancy but remember to take it in the lowest possible dosage. Healthy adults can take paracetamol 500 mg up to 4 times a day but when you are pregnant you can minimize the daily dose to 2 pills per day. There is no clear evidence that this medication can produce adverse effect on the growing fetus.
Ibuprofen belongs to NSAID (anti-inflammatory and non steroidal drug) that is used for treating any type of pain and aches. However it is good to avoid taking Ibuprofen during the early stages of pregnancy since it increases the chance of miscarriage or abortion. And there is chance of kidney or heart problems in the baby if you take this drug. Avoid taking any kind of anti-inflammatory and steroidal medications during pregnancy.
After consulting with your doctor you can get a shot of flu vaccine, during pregnancy. Flu can cause some complications like bronchitis, ear infections like otitis media and in rare cases brain infections. Hence it is better to prevent flu by taking a shot of vaccination. Flu vaccination does not cause any harmful effect for the pregnant women and her unborn baby.
Symptoms Of Flu :
It can be an attack of flu if you have any of the following signs –
- Extreme tiredness and fatigue
- Body pain, fever and chills and sweats
- Cough (mild to moderate) with runny nose
- Sore throat and difficulty in drinking and swallowing
- Upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and dehydration
- Flu virus or influenza virus is a seasonal infection affecting millions of people.
How It Spreads ?
You can get infected with flu virus easily when exposed to droplets of saliva or cough from infected persons. When a person with flu coughs or sneezes, he/she spreads millions of tiny droplets that contain virus. You can get easily infected by inhaling contaminated air droplets or by touching objects that contain flu viruses.
How To Reduce The Risk Of Flu ?
Every person has to take precautionary measures to prevent flu. Pregnant women should be doubly cautious to protect the health of herself and the growing fetus.
- Avoid contacts with people with flu
- Avoid touching your nose or mouth with fingers
- Take enough rest
- Keep yourself warm and hydrated
- Wash your hands with mild antiseptic lotion often
- Follow simple home remedies if you have got cold
You need to call your doctor immediately, if you have serious symptoms like dizziness, confusion, breathing difficulty, high fever, severe vomiting and dehydration. As per the recommendation of CDC pregnant women should be treated quickly with antiviral drugs while having flu.
Cold and Flu Home Remedies During Pregnancy :
- Get enough rest
- If you have mild cold and sore throat, you can gargle salt (lukewarm) water many times a day. This is the best remedy for sore throat.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- If you have breathing difficulty you can add humidifier in your bedroom.
- Drink chicken soup to get quick relief from congestion of nose and chest.
- Avoid going out of home particularly if the flu season is around.
- Keep your home and office atmosphere clean.
Check with your doctor if the symptoms are not improving two days after home remedies. Do not postpone your visit to doctor if you are suspecting flu since it can invite trouble both for you and the growing baby.