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Stomach Flu When Pregnant

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Stomach Flu When Pregnant

Stomach Flu When Pregnant

Pregnancy comes with some ups and downs. Morning sickness, fatigue and sometimes stomach flu are some of the pregnancy discomforts that you are likely to encounter during your pregnancy. Stomach flu is also known as gastroenteritis (aka stomach bug) is an infection of the stomach and intestines, which is normally caused by Rotavirus and Norovirus or even bacteria. Anybody can get stomach flu and it’s very contagious.

The symptoms are worse during pregnancy than when you are not. It happens when the lining of your digestive tract becomes inflamed. It’s usually not something serious and it can go away on its own. Remember during pregnancy your immune system weakens, making you prone to infections.

How can you get stomach flu?

  • By not washing hands after visiting the toilet or changing the baby’s’ diaper.
  • By not washing hands when you come home after going shopping or after work.
  • By eating contaminated food and drinking contaminated water.
  • By coming in contact with an infected person.

The best practice to keep away stomach flu is by maintaining a high level of hygiene.

How can you prevent stomach flu?

  • Always wash your hands with soap after:
  • Visiting the toilet.
  • After coming home from outside. It could be from shopping, working or visiting friends.
  • After greeting people in public.
  • After changing the baby’s diapers.
  • Also, wash vegetables and fruits well before eating or cooking.
  • Observe the expiry dates of processed food.
  • Separate raw food from cooked food.
  • Avoid processed and cold meats.
  • Always boil water before drinking.

How to prevent passing stomach flu to others.

  • Wash your hands with soap frequently.
  • Disinfect the toilet and toilet seat daily.
  • Avoid sharing utensils when eating.
  • Avoid sharing towels.

How can you tell that you have stomach flu?

Pregnancy comes with so many changes in our bodies. If you have experienced the morning sickness, it can be hard to distinguish stomach flu from it. Here are some of the symptoms of stomach flu:

  • Severe diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pains
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Dehydration

Normally the body’s immune system can fight off these viruses. Remember, medications aren’t recommended during pregnancy; but if the symptoms persist beyond two days, seek medical attention immediately.

How to manage stomach flu at home

  1. Take enough liquids

Take enough water and vegetable soups. Take it little and often. This is because your body loses a lot of water and minerals during vomiting and diarrhea.  Taking enough liquids will replace the lost fluids.

  1. Eat the right foods

Avoid eating oily and spicy food. Eat those foods that are healthy and are digested easily like, rice, ripe bananas, and applesauce until you have recovered. Eat small portions but frequently.

  1. Take Ginger

It has been known to neutralize stomach acids and relieves the symptoms of nausea.

  1. Use Mint

Prepare peppermint tea to relieve irritated bowel and to fight stomach upsets

  1. Take Probiotics

Stomach flu kills good bacteria in the digestive tract. So you need probiotics like natural plain yogurt which is a source of good bacteria, to boost the immune system. You should take the yogurt until you have fully recovered.

  1. Rest

Vomiting and diarrhea can drain you of your energy so you need to get plenty of rest.

 

When should you see a doctor?

  • If the symptoms persist beyond two days.
  • If you get dehydrated severely until you have a dry mouth and you are passing dark urine.
  • If you keep throwing up everything that you put into your mouth.
  • Extreme fatigue and loss of appetite.
  • High fever and chills.
  • A decrease in fetal movement.
  • If you suspect serious infection like Listeriosis.

Can you take self-medication?

Medicines are not recommended during pregnancy unless it’s a prescription from the doctor. It’s good to use the natural remedies that I have stated above to relieve the symptoms of stomach flu if it is mild. Never take over the counter medicine without consulting your doctor because it can be harmful to your pregnancy.

If the symptoms persist don’t hesitate to call the doctor or visit the hospital.

Can stomach flu harm your baby?

The safety of the baby is a concern of every pregnant woman. Don’t worry your baby is well protected with some natural defense mechanism. So your baby is pretty fine even if you are vomiting. But extreme dehydration can cause electrolyte imbalance which can rob your baby of sufficient nutrients or even make you go into premature labor.

You should also check for Listeriosis because its symptoms are quite similar to those of stomach flu. It is a dangerous infection because it passes through the placenta and can be life-threatening to the fetus. That is why it is recommended to see a doctor when the symptoms become severe.

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