Cold & Flu While Being Pregnant

How to manage the flu and pregnancy, top tips on what you can do if you fall ill during winter pregnant.

Being pregnant means that your health is also affecting the health of your unborn child, making treating cold and flu symptoms confusing and unknown. Fortunately, many medications can be taken while pregnant which means you are able to treat any symptoms safely and effectively.

There are several things you can do to reduce your risk of becoming ill over winter. When you are pregnant your immune system typically becomes weaker leaving expecting mums more open to viral and bacterial infections. Getting the flu vaccination reduces the risk of infection and complications, it also helps to protect mums and babies for up to 6 months after birth.

See below for other tips you can do:

  • Wash your hands often
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest
  • Eating a diet high in fruit, vegetables and protein
  • Avoiding friends or family who are sick
  • Exercise
  • Reduce stress as much as possible.
     

If you do happen to fall ill over the winter months, as the cold is a very common mild viral infection, there are plenty of methods to relieve symptoms at home. Your body will present typical cold symptoms such as runny nose, sore throat, blocked sinuses and congestion which will typically hang around for a week as your body is fighting off the infection. There is no cure for the cold except to let your body fight it off. You can relieve symptoms by taking over-the-counter medication recommended for pregnant women, drinking plenty of fluids and getting a lot of rest.

The flu is more serious than a cold and it is recommended that if you become ill with the flu you see your doctor as soon as possible. Being pregnant and catching the flu means you are at a much higher risk of complications. Antiviral medications will be recommended to treat the flu which works best when started 48 hours after symptoms start.

Antivirals will not cure the flu, there are used to reduce the amount of time you are sick, relieve symptoms and most importantly reduce the potential for serious complications. When you are recovering from the flu you should also make sure you are getting plenty of rest, keeping warm and drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Most of your local community pharmacists will be providing the influenza vaccine to keep you protected against any nasty colds and flu during the winter months. They are also able to recommend any medication or pain relief that will be suitable for use during pregnancy if you find yourself sick and needing some relief.