Cold and flu symptoms encompass a number of side effects also noticed during pregnancy, so expectant moms should pay extra attention to their bodies to determine whether their sniffles and vomitting are pregnancy-related, or are caused by an external factor like a cold or the flu.
What causes it?
Many cold and flu symptoms, like a stuffy nose, vomiting, headaches and fatigue are very common during pregnancy, even when they are not the result of the flu or some other illness. In fact, between the hormones, morning sickness and everything else, parts of pregnancy can often be a pretty good imitation of the flu! For this reason, moms-to-be need to be super aware of when their symptoms are harmless, natural symptoms of pregnancy, or are indicative of a greater issue like the flu or another illness.
If you are unsure whether your symptoms are pregnancy- or illness-related, it’s always a good idea to call your healthcare provider for his or her opinion. The body naturally suppresses the immune system when you’re pregnant so that your white blood cell army doesn’t mistake Baby for an invader – unfortunately this makes you more susceptible to illness. Pregnant moms should take extra care to avoid sick people, stay very well-hydrated, and get plenty of Vitamin C from diet and regular prenatal vitamins to give their immune system the extra boost that it needs.
An up-to-date flu shot helps new moms-to-be avoid influenza, which can be dangerous. As for OTC medications for other illnesses, acetaminophen is generally okay to take during pregnancy, as are most cough drops and many cough suppressants, though it’s a good idea to check in with a provider about any combination medications. Ibuprofen is not regarded as safe. You should talk to your healthcare provider about any medications you plan on taking.
- “Prengnacy rhinitis: sneezing, snifing and congestion.” Pregnancy.org. Pregnancy.org, n.d. Web.
- “Pregnant Women & Influenza (Flu).” CDC.gov. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, n.d. Web.
- “Colds & Pregnancy.” Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic, 5/31/2011. Web.