Flu and Cold in Pregnancy

Flu and Cold in Pregnancy

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During pregnancy the immune system is more weakened, so in these months you are more exposed to the contagion of diseases, almost always viral, such as colds or the flu.

In addition, the increase in estrogens produces an inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose (also of the larynx and pharynx), causing what is known as gestational rhinitis, another factor that makes you be something more prone to contagion.

Both common colds and the flu are conditions that do not require antibiotic treatmentas they are caused by viruses. It is very common that we refer to these two diseases as if they were the same, however, in the case of the flu, the secondary complications that may appear are more serious (such as pneumonia). Let's see how to differentiate both:

1. Catarrh. The first signs are usually gradual: it begins with some nasal congestion, sneezing, general malaise and sometimes a little low-grade fever (less than 38 ºC). Then a soft, dry cough may appear, sometimes accompanied by sore throat and a lot of runny nose. The picture usually disappears in 4-5 days.

2. Flu. The symptoms appear more quickly and in just a few hours the discomfort is evident: headache and muscle pain (aggravated by the weight gain of pregnancy), a lot of fatigue and a fever of more than 38 ºC that can last up to a week .

It is not usual to have a sore throat, but there may be chest discomfort, with a strong expectorant cough and a generalized loss of appetite. We will bear in mind that once the acute phase is over, fatigue can last two or three weeks.

If you happen to suffer a cold or flu during pregnancy, calm down, because the disease itself will not affect your little one. Viruses responsible for colds or flu remain in the mother's respiratory epithelium, thus not reaching the baby.

However, what happens is that some of the symptoms that accompany these pictures could affect the fetus to some extent, albeit indirectly. The most obvious sign is fever, since it is not known from what temperature fetal well-being may be compromised, so it is recommended that during pregnancy it does not rise above 38-38.5ºC

Something similar happens with dehydration: if you have stomach discomfort and it is difficult for you to drink enough you can suffer it and, although thanks to good fetal homeostasis it will not have repercussions for the baby, it can cause palpitations, dizziness and increase the risk of falls.

As we have said before, these diseases are not treated with antibiotics, their treatment is symptomatic. Here are some tips to follow:

1. Drink lots of fluids to compensate for those you lose through secretions and sweating if you have a fever. In addition to water, chamomile infusions, juices, soups ...

2. Avoid dry air with a cold humidifier in your room. If you don't have one, a bowl of boiling water before bed will help restore moisture for the night.

3. Try to keep the room temperature around 22 degrees. Overheating does not suit you, which will make you feel more uncomfortable. Furthermore, sudden changes in temperature must be avoided.

4. To relieve cough and sore throat, drink lemon juice flattened with warm water and sweetened with honey. Warm salt water gargles can also help.

5. Nasal congestion improves a lot with seawater or physiological saline washes. You can repeat them as many times as you want. The lifelong remedy of placing a cut onion on the nightstand also works.

6. If you have a fever or muscle aches, take acetaminophen, a pain reliever, and fever reducer compatible with pregnancy.

7. Get plenty of rest. You need all your energy so that your body improves as soon as possible.

You can read more articles similar to Flu and Cold in Pregnancy, in the category of Diseases - annoyances on site.

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