Flu and pregnancy

Your questions

A pregnant woman will often contract an infection during her last trimester. To better understand this phenomenon, you should know that during pregnancy, many physiological changes make a future mother more vulnerable to infections, especially during her last part of her pregnancy. More blood, less immunity, fewer defences. It’s a good thing to make the link during your prenatal preparation to better understand what is happening to you.

During the winter season, pregnant women are often congested. Many don’t want to take anything for it because they’re scared they will harm the baby. It is 7 to 9% of pregnant women who will have nasal congestion naturally during their pregnancy in connection with hormonal changes, increased blood volume and also increased secretions of the glands.

Flu vaccination is universally recommended, because there are many more benefits than costs for getting it, especially during the last trimester with a weakened immune system. Health Canada and the Society of Obstetrician and Gynecologists of Canada suggest the vaccination for pregnant women, particularly after 20 weeks pregnant. Santé et Mieux-être, from the Quebec Health Ministry, offers a vaccination for all pregnant women in the 2nd and 3rd trimester, as the development of antibodies can also help the baby following pregnancy. It would be like a pre-manufactured immune agent transmitted by the mother.

While I’m not suggesting that you take medications for every little symptom, when they’re always present and more intense, try basic products that don’t impact your baby. Don’t wait for a more severe infection which will likely require antibiotics.

You can always take acetaminophen (Tylenol or Atesol) to help soothe your symptoms. You can also gargle with saline solutions every hour to help your throat.

If you have muscular contractures, regular Myoflex cream can be used for several days, but not at the same time as hot compresses. If you have a cough, drinking water can help liquefy secretions to help eliminate them. You can also take Balminil DM or Benylin DM for a dry cough. However, if a cough lasts for more than three days, or if you have greenish secretions or a fever, you should consult to get a full evaluation.

Your nasal congestion can be helped using a nasal Salinex. Then, if that doesn’t work, Otrivin or Dristan, but never more than for three days.

That said, you need to take care of yourself. You should learn these things during prenatal classes to prevent possible complications. I provided you with some advice about medications, but there are also alternative approaches, such as acupuncture and osteopathy, that can help pregnant women without risks. See my article about medications during pregnancy and the video capsule filmed with a pharmacist about medications during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

You can also consult this website to ask a pharmacist (question for a pharmacist).

Share your experiences about what was able to help you.

Thanks, and talk soon!

Marie
The Baby Expert

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Flu and pregnancy

Par Mélanie Loubier Temps de lecture: 2 min
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