How Can I Avoid Getting the Flu or a Cold When Pregnant?
Undoubtedly, during pregnancy, everyone wants to avoid diseases, but often we start too late to take actions to prevent colds, flu, and other infectious diseases. Colds may be caused by viruses or bacteria. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria, spread rapidly in the ambient air, and cause colds easily.
Bacterial diseases are of greater duration, compared with viral ones, and cause complications more often. It is possible to get infection not only from a sick person, but when using personal hygiene items and utensils.
Manifestations of Disease
Colds frequently start with “latency period”. These are the harbingers of the disease: weakness, fatigue, sweating, decreased performance, headache, sore throat and running nose. This period lasts for 1-2 days. If you notice these signs and recalled a contact with a sick person, you can use the following tips to prevent the disease: Arbidol – after consultation with a doctor, tea with honey or raspberry, proper rest and sleep.
If you do get sick, these measures will reduce the severity of illness. Then begins the "crisis" period of illness: runny nose, cough, lacrimation, fever, headaches, aching in the bones and muscles. This period lasts an average for 4-7 days. If at first the causative agent was a virus, then after 3-4 days there can also appear a bacterial infection that prolongs and increases the duration of the illness.
You can have the second "outbreak" of the disease: the repeated increases in temperature; nasal discharge, first transparent and slimy, become greenish and thick; cough becomes frequent, with phlegm. Then the recovery comes: all manifestations of the common cold decrease, weakness, sweating, drowsiness, fatigue remain for a few days.
How to Avoid Diseases
First and foremost, it is necessary to revise the dietary regimen. Eliminate smoked products containing preservatives, colorings, flavorings from your diet. These factors are agents that "annoy" the immune system, causing it to produce protective proteins, rather building defenses against external pathogens and preventing chronic hotbeds of infection from being activated in the body. Be sure to consume adequate amounts of protein: meat, fish, cheese, eggs. Proteins and their constituents — amino acids – is the main building material for new cells, including the cells of the immune defense.
One of the best vitamins for preventing colds are: pyridoxine (B6), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), pangamic acid (B15), vitamins A and Е. All necessary vitamins are contained in special vitamin complexes for pregnant women.
Phytocides also have beneficial effects on the body – these are substances of vegetable origin which possess anti-inflammatory and antibiotic properties. They are contained in onion, garlic, radish. These products are preferably eaten raw as a dietary supplement. During epidemics of respiratory diseases you can place plates with finely chopped garlic in your house, periodically changing them.
Among the activities that are useful for the prevention of ARVI, is developing resistance to the cold. This procedure not only strengthens the immune system, but also tones the skin, normalizes tonus of vessels, prevents aging. Daily procedures may include 5-minute contrast shower. Shower your body with warm (38-40 °C) and cool (20-22 °C) water for 30-40 seconds (only if you was doing this procedure before pregnancy) or only your feet (if you decided to try for the first time). Always finish the procedure with cool water.
Walking barefoot on the floor and on grass and sand in summer is also effective. If you never did it before, you can start any time, at any stage of pregnancy, if you have no pregnancy complications. The sooner the better. Over time, gradually reduce the temperature of the cool water in the shower.
Walks at any time of the year can be attributed to healthy activities. Walking should be first and foremost a pleasure. Walk as much as possible, better in the park or in the countryside, a nice stroll after the rain is also great, because humidified air helps preventing the oxygen deficient in mother and fetus.
Ventilate your room. Sleep in a well ventilated room (requires approximately 30 minutes of airing before sleep or open ventilation pane during the night if there is no draught). If the flu epidemic began, use oxolinic ointment. Put a thin layer around the nostrils and 2-3 mm inside, on the nasal mucous coat.
Avoid contact with infections during pregnancy. Public places with lots of people (shops, cinemas, clinics) is not the best place for expectant mothers during epidemics of flu and ARVI. If you need to visit crowded places, feel free to wear a mask.
Treatment During Pregnancy
You can use home remedies to cure slight colds. Be sure to consult with your doctor before using any medicine. It is desirable to limit physical activity during illness and recovery in order to avoid extra load on the weakened body.
If your body temperature is above 38 °C, you can wipe the body with cool water (20-25 °C) or light 1.5 % solution of vinegar. Don't forget about tea with raspberry – the best antifebrile, as well as tea with lemon or honey. Before sleep you can drink a glass of warm milk with a spoon of honey and a spoon of butter. It causes increased sweating and, thereby, reduces the body temperature. Sufficient fluid consumption (up to 1.5-2l in the absence of edema) compensates the fluid loss caused by high body temperature and sweating. Drink cranberry or lingberry drinks, decoction of briar, infusion of sage or melissa.
During the illness of all forces of the body are thrown at combating the activator. The main role in these processes is played by the liver. In order to not "overload", it is better to eat light food, consume less meat (preferably minced) and more dairy and vegetable products.
- Apply saline solution in the case of runny nose (0.9 % sodium chloride solution) – 1 ml in each nostril. You can also use Aquamaris, Aqua Laure, etc. In 5 minutes you will already be able to easily blow your nose. Apply 0.01 % Nasivin in case of severe nasal congestion.
- If you have sore throat, it is recommended to rinse it with decoction of herbs (chamomile, St. John's wort, sage), soda and salt (1 teaspoon in a glass of warm water). When coughing, inhale the pairs of drinking soda, boiled potatoes or decoction of herbs (St. John's wort, chamomile, calendula). Brew herbs in a small saucepan, 2-3 tablespoons for 1 liter of water, bend over the steam, covering yourself with a towel so that the steam goes directly into your airways. Alternately breathe with mouth and nose for 5-7 minutes. Then rinse your face with cold water, wear something warm. Undertake the procedure 1-2 times a day.
After the disease it is recommended to take general blood test, biochemical blood analysis, general urine test, check your heart with ECG. Starting from the 30th week of pregnancy it is advisable to assess fetal condition with cardiotocography. In 7-10 after recovery repeat blood tests and urine tests. In 2-3 weeks after recovery it is advisable to undergo ultrasound. Possible complications are remote, therefore cold is a reason to make regular visits to the doctor.