Both during the autumn and during the winter the risk of getting colds and flu is much higher, which can have a negative influence on pregnancy, causing various discomforts -common and typical, incidentally- that may not be relieved with medicines that, at any other time, could be consumed normally but during pregnancy pose a risk not only for the pregnant woman but for the normal development of the fetus.
Thus, the prevention of colds and flu during pregnancy is fundamental , mainly because as many gynecologists and midwives state, when a pregnant woman catches a cold she usually keeps it until the end of pregnancy, and in addition, the symptoms tend to be a little more intense.
How can colds be prevented in pregnancy?
The truth that, during pregnancy, as in any stage of life, different hygiene and protection measures must be maintained to help prevent contagion .
According to the Spanish Society of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology (SEIMC), pregnant women are part of the risk groups that should be vaccinated against influenza, hence when gestation is developed during the winter months, it is advisable to vaccination. Although it can be done at any time during pregnancy, it is advisable to do it in the second trimester.
While it is true that the vaccine does not prevent infection (because it does not protect against the spread of the virus itself), it does help to reduce the consequences of the infection, which tend to be very serious. In addition, it is useful to protect the baby during the first months of life after delivery.
Once vaccinated, there are a series of basic tips to follow that will help you in a simple way when it comes to avoiding and preventing any cold or flu:
- Wash your hands often. Especially when you go on public transport and go out on the street. In this sense, wash them well, with hot water, before eating and before putting your hands to your mouth.
- Stay as far as possible from people who suffer from any flu or cold.
- If you go to a public toilet try using a single-use towel to open the door when entering and leaving.
How can we relieve the symptoms of colds during pregnancy?
Remember that, during pregnancy, only your doctor is the only one who can prescribe and recommend the administration of any type of medication. In the case of having a cold or flu, since it is a generally viral disease that must be passed and that only heals with the passing of days, the drugs only help to alleviate the symptoms.
Even so, in pregnancy it is not advised to consume ibuprofen , and yes replace it with the paracetamol , as long as it is taken in moderation and under the supervision of the doctor.
It is also recommended to hydrate well and rest. During pregnancy it is normal to feel more tired, especially during the second and third trimesters. If this is the case, and you are also cold or aggravated, try to rest as much as possible.
In case of nasal congestion, physiological sera or seawater spray are recommended, as they help maintain good and proper nasal hygiene. However, it is not convenient to abuse them.
On the other hand, in case of cough and sore throat, there are different natural remedies that can be of great help. A good example is the infusion of thyme, honey and lemon , which is very easy to prepare and provides beneficial qualities.
In any case, if you have a fever, you should see your doctor for an adequate medical supervision and review.
- Ghulmiyyah LM et al. J Neonatal Perinatal Med. (2015). Influenza and its treatment during pregnancy: A review. Available at https://doi.org/10.3233/NPM-15814124
- Mertz D et al. Vaccine (2017). Pregnancy as a risk factor for severe outcomes from influenza virus infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359513/