Managing the Common Cold and Flu in Pregnancy
One of the most common respiratory illnesses is the seasonal cold or flu. More than a million cases are seen in Australia alone. During pregnancy the chances of a woman contracting colds or influenza are higher than non-pregnant woman. This is because the body’s immune system is relatively weak during pregnancy.
Managing the common cold is limited to conservative measures such as keeping up fluid intake and using simple pain relief such as paracetamol. Many of the “cold and flu” medications are not safe in pregnancy so you should consult your healthcare provider before using any over the counter preparations
Influenza is a viral disease that spreads from cough and sneeze. It is present all year but more common in winter. If you come into contact with someone with influenza or think you may have contracted it while pregnant, you should see your doctor immediately to see if antiviral medication is recommended. Mostly antiviral medicines are given to control the symptoms early on, especially if started within first 2 days on their onset.
Antiviral do not cure flu but they help to:
– Relieve symptoms
– Reduce length of flu
– Reduce complications
Influenza can be severe in pregnancy so early detection and treatment is essential.
Flu vaccine during pregnancy:
Getting a flu vaccine during pregnancy is safe and does not carry any harm. It actually helps avoid flu or its complications like:
– chest infection ( pneumonia)
– middle ear infection(otitis media)
– any inflammation of brain(encephalitis)
– any inflammation of brain’s covering(meningitis)
It should be noted that the flu vaccine also poses no risk to women who are breast feeding. Women who get flu vaccines during pregnancy also pass some immunity to their babies for almost 6 months.
You can make an appointment with Dr Kenny on 1300 464 464.
This article is written to be informative and does not substitute seeking a professional consultation from a medical professional.