Bad news alert! It’s common for your immune system to take a hit during pregnancy. When you’re expecting, your immune system works in a less “aggressive” away. This is great since it keeps your baby safe and stops your body from dealing with the fetus as an entity to be rejected. It also means your body won’t fight off many viruses, and you may find yourself dealing with a nasty cold with none of your favorite cold medicines to help you.
We tend to think all over -the- counter medication is harmless. But, even the ones you always took pre-pregnancy may not be safe now. Some of these drugs, including nasal sprays, contain substances that can cause narrowing (constriction) of blood vessels. When blood vessels constrict, blood flow is slowed or blocked, affecting the amount of oxygen the baby receives.
Nonstop coughing, stuffy nose, throbbing headache may be driving you crazy… we hear you. But, AGAIN, keep your meds locked in the cupboard and call your health care provider asap, let her/him know all your symptoms. She/he will surely prescribe safe meds for you.
Don’t try to toughen it out. If left untreated, the common flu can turn into something much more serious, like pneumonia.
Coping with the annoying symptoms
Rest, be patient, and drink plenty of fluids – juices are a great way of getting some nutrients as well as reaching your liquid intake goal. Strengthen your immunity system with vitamins.
Fever, headaches, and body aches – can be treated with acetaminophen (the active ingredient in Tylenol, is usually approved for short-term use). Don’t forget to get your doctor’s approval.
Stuffy nose – try a humidifier, use more than one pillow to keep your head elevated.
Couching – keep your throat hydrated by drinking fluids and rest.
Yes, it’s safe to get a flu shot!
The CDC states that influenza is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women of the same age gap who aren’t pregnant. Getting the Flu shot is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your baby for the first few months of her/his life. You can get the vaccine at any stage of your pregnancy.
Getting sick during your pregnancy is a real headache (pun intended), but don’t take any medication without your doctor’s approval. Be patient, call your health practitioner as soon as you start feeling sick, and remember: you may catch a bad cold or the nasty flu, but your baby is well protected inside your womb.
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