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If you’re looking for ways to avoid getting sick while pregnant you’re in the right place. Being sick and pregnant sounds like a nightmare already.
Nobody likes being sick. It’s just NOT awesome. When you’re sick you’re miserable. Some pregnant women might even feel miserable during their pregnancy. Morning sickness sounds familiar?
Let’s go back to being sick and pregnant. Pregnant women are prone to illnesses (cold, flu, allergies, infections), to begin with. Their immunity is suppressed until that beautiful baby comes out.
A suppressed immune system turns pregnant women into an easy target for germs. Get that hand sanitizer out now.
They go through a lot of physical changes and there’s always the famous hormonal challenge to deal with. So, yeah, pregnancy may be stressful. So stressed and pregnant may get you sick as well.
Stress may weaken your immune system and make you more susceptible to illnesses. Some possible complications from illness could result in pneumonia or even premature labor.
Because living in a bubble for nine months is not something feasible, here are some ideas on how to avoid getting sick while pregnant.
1. FLU SHOT DURING PREGNANCY
Experts say the flu shot is safe and the best way to protect yourself during the flu season. Some people avoid getting it because they think they will get sick.
The vaccine, though, does not have the live virus, so you won’t contract the flu. If you’re having second thoughts on getting the flu vaccine … you shouldn’t.
It’s safe during any stage of pregnancy and recommended. It won’t harm your baby and you’re preventing possible complications like bronchitis (which can develop into pneumonia).
Experts say that if you get the flu vaccine while pregnant you even pass some protection on to your baby that will be good for the first 6 months after he is born. That’s cool.
Furthermore, the flu vaccine is also safe for women who are breastfeeding. It seems you can’t go wrong with this one. Always check with your doctor in advance.
2. TRY TO HAVE A HEALTHY PREGNANCY DIET
Trying to stay healthy is a good habit. I said ‘trying’ because it’s hard to follow a certain routine when you’re pregnant. Most of the times you tend to listen to those cravings, whatever those may be (pickles, watermelon, doughnuts).
But for the most part, try to invest in your health as much as you can. Remember that preventing a problem is always better (and cheaper) than treating it. How can you do that?
Have a healthy pregnancy routine:
- Stay active (unless you have restrictions) to boost your immune system and increase metabolism- walking, swimming, light to moderate pregnancy-safe exercises, indoor cycling
- Rest – get enough sleep, after you give birth you’ll be begging for some sleep
- Stay hydrated – water is gold
- Eat healthy – fruits and veggies and other good stuff. This is too confusing, right? Don’t worry I wrote an entire article about pregnancy diet. Check it out here.
- Keep taking your prenatal vitamins as instructed by your doctor. During my pregnancy, I took these prenatal vitamins because they didn’t make me sick (I was very sensitive to tastes and smells)
- Don’t touch your eyes, mouth, and nose
- Disinfect surfaces and objects (your phone) that are most touched
- Avoid crowded places (hospitals, schools, malls)
3. STAY HYDRATED
Before you jump and say that I’m repeating myself, I am. I want to make sure you understand how important water is. Water is vital to survive.
A lot of water is essential during your pregnancy. You need to drink enough water for both you and your fetus. The recommended amount for pregnant women is ten 8 ounce cups of water (or other beverages) daily.
Fluids help with maintaining a well-functioning body and wash out your system. Always have a bottle of water on you.
4. REST AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
You’ve heard this before, I know. At some point, you won’t even have a choice. You will have to rest. That baby bump will get bigger and heavier and you will feel tired.
Don’t let yourself get to a point where you feel exhausted. A weak physical condition further weakens your immune system, which again is more prone to illness.
You need 8 hours of sleep per night so you can function properly and not compromise your immunity. Your body recovers while you sleep. And let’s not forget about that baby you carry in your womb.
5. WASH YOUR HANDS
You know many patients ask me ‘why aren’t my teeth clean? I’m using this and that. I’m doing this and that. I spend so much time brushing my teeth’.
And I always answer ‘Well, are you brushing properly?’ Of course, they give me the look. The secret to having clean teeth is brushing properly. It’s as simple as that (after you floss).
The secret to clean hands is washing your hands properly for at least 20 seconds. Focus on your nailbeds (scratch them in your palm), in between your fingers and of course on the remaining surfaces on your hands.
Rinse well and dry your hands with a clean towel/cloth.
6. DON’T STRESS
Your pregnancy is the most important thing for you right now. Focus on your wellbeing, take it easy, protect yourself, ask for help when needed and stay positive. Your baby counts on you, just so you know.
Be strong for the baby you’re carrying in your womb, which is the perfect environment for him right now. So keep it perfect.
CAN A COLD CAUSE A MISCARRIAGE?
Having a cold can definitely make you feel uncomfortable when you’re pregnant but studies show no risk of miscarriage. Having a fever is a different story because it’s actually linked with high miscarriage risk. Monitor your symptoms and always consult with your doctor.
IS A COLD DANGEROUS WHILE PREGNANT?
Even though you are susceptible to catch a cold easier the symptoms of a cold or flu are not harmful to the baby.
IF YOU GET A COLD OR COUGH:
- Rest and relax – give your body time to recover
- If you have a stuffy nose – use a humidifier in your room (you’ll need one for your baby anyways), sleep in an inclined position
- Sore throat soothing methods – warm tea, gargle with warm salt water
- Warm compresses to your head, sinuses, and shoulders – to reduce pain and congestion
WHEN TO CALL THE DOCTOR
If your symptoms are getting worse, lasting for more than two days and causing loss of appetite and sleep. In case you get a fever (102 degrees Fahrenheit or greater) you need to let your doctor know. immediately.