What Side Effects Have Pregnant People Experienced From Flu Shots
The most common side effects experienced by pregnant people are the same as those experienced by other people. They are generally mild and include:
- Soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot
If side effects occur, they usually begin soon after the shot is given and generally last for 1-2 days.
A flu shot, like other injections, can occasionally cause fainting. Rarely, flu shots can cause serious problems like severe allergic reactions. Anyone with a severe, life-threatening allergy to any of the vaccine ingredients should not get the shot.
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Cold And Flu Season Has Arrived
While catching a cold is a hindrance at the best of times, becoming unwell during pregnancy is especially complicated. After all, everything that happens to you during pregnancy affects not just your body but that of your baby. Given this, you want to be careful with the medications you use to alleviate symptoms.
Although cold and flu are both highly common illnesses, pregnant people are at increased risk since the immune system is suppressed to protect the baby from the bodys defences. As such, pregnant people are more likely to experience worse cold symptoms, take longer to recover and are more vulnerable to cold complications, such as bronchitis, sinus infections and pneumonia.
If you are pregnant and suffering from a cold, here is our guide to managing your symptoms.
Are There Safe Medications For People With Chronic Illness During Pregnancy
Some pregnant individuals who have chronic illnesses may face more worries about their medication. The medications you are currently taking for your chronic illness might be bad for the baby, making the situation complicated. But a safe and healthy pregnancy is possible despite your serious condition.
Chronic illnesses are medical conditions that last for a year or more and require ongoing treatment. These include high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, asthma, epilepsy, HIV and mental health disorders. During pregnancy, the risk of infertility, congenital disabilities and premature labor increases with chronic illness.
With chronic illnesses, the list of safe medications during pregnancy can be provided by your doctor. Remember the following:
Always ask your doctor before stopping, continuing or switching your medicines.
The medications you take and the frequency of intake depends on the instructions that your prenatal care provider or the physician who monitors your health condition provides.
Seek your doctors advice before getting pregnant.
The safest way to go about your pregnancy is to prepare yourself and ask your doctor first. Not only will you be advised on the best time to get pregnant, but you can also get a structured medication plan. Planning your pregnancy will keep the risks of complications at a minimum.
Early and regular prenatal care will ensure you and your babys well-being.
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How Do You Recognize A Cold Or The Flu During Pregnancy
A cold is a common type of mild viral infection that impacts the nose, throat, upper airways, and sinuses. Your nose gets blocked followed by sneezing, a runny nose, cough, and a sore throat. There are a few over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol available to treat it.
Flu, on the other hand, is a transmittable viral illness that is spread via sneezes and coughs. Flu is not the same as cold. It is a short form of influenza. A certain different group of viruses is responsible for causing it.
While colds normally get treated in a week with medicines, flu symptoms are more severe and so it takes more time to treat them. Antiviral medicines help in getting rid of it. In absence of effective treatment, it may even lead to birth defects and premature delivery. So, if you are identified with flu, you need to seek your health care provider immediately.
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Should I Call The Doctor About A Cold Or Cough
It is important to call your doctor if your symptoms are causing you to stop eating or sleeping, or if they last for more than a couple of days without improving. It is also important to consult your physician if you develop a fever that is 102° Fahrenheit or greater.Lastly, if you begin to cough up discolored mucus or if your cough is accompanied by chest pain and/or wheezing, make sure to call your doctor. They may need to prescribe an antibiotic to kill the infection.
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Getting Flu While Youre Pregnant
When youâre pregnant, your bodyâs immune system is naturally weaker. This means youâre more vulnerable to developing complications. Catching flu while youâre pregnant can also seriously affect your baby.
For this reason, NHS advice is that all pregnant women should receive the flu jab. The flu jab doesnât offer 100 percent protection from the flu as itâs designed to protect you and your baby against certain strains, but it greatly reduces your risk of catching it. If you catch a strain of flu that the vaccination doesnât protect you against, it should still shorten the length and severity of your illness.
Studies have shown that the flu jab is safe at all stages of pregnancy, from the first few weeks up to your expected due date. Speak to your GP about getting the free flu jab, as they should be able to provide it. You can also check if your local pharmacist offers the free flu vaccination, or if your midwife can provide it.
Pregnancy And Otc Cough Cold And Analgesic Preparations
Benefits Versus RisksIn the United States, about 150,000 babies are born each year with birth defects.7 Birth defects can occur due to many nonpharmacologic factors. Some of the most common defects are spina bifida, microtia, hypoplastic left heart, cleft palate, cleft lip, esophageal atresia, anencephaly, omphalocele, and limb reduction.7 Practitioners must weigh the benefits versus the risks when recommending OTC analgesics and cough and cold preparations to pregnant women. Since ailments treated with OTC and herbal products in pregnant women are not usually life-threatening, practitioners should also consider suggesting nonpharmacologic remedies, such as rest and fluids.This article presents information on some common OTC analgesic and cough and cold preparations available. Each section discusses the product, pregnancy category, information regarding safety data in pregnancy, dosing, side effects, and contraindications. The comparison of risks and benefits must be considered for each individual patient. Information relating to when patients should refer to a physician is included to assist with the decision-making process.
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Supplement Use During Pregnancy
Discuss any supplements you take or plan to take during your pregnancy with your doctor.
While prenatal vitamins are recommended to support levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, other supplements may pose risks to your baby. They may also interact with medications youre already taking.
Note that just because something is labeled all-natural doesnt always mean its safe. Supplements are by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs. Approach them with caution and discuss using with your doctor before starting any.
Does A Cough And Cold During Pregnancy Affect The Baby
When you become pregnant, your immune system is likely to change. As a result of these changes, you may contract a cold or cough at some point during your pregnancy. In addition, your illness may last longer. The good news is that even though you probably feel fatigued, the symptoms of a cold or flu are not typically dangerous to your baby. However, it is important to take the necessary measures to avoid contracting a cold or cough during pregnancy and to treat it once you get one.
- Get ample rest Take naps, sleep through the night, and sit down to relax. These are great ways to give your body much-needed downtime. Learn more about the importance of bed rest during pregnancy.
- Drink plenty of fluids Drink water, juice, or broth to add necessary fluids back into your body.
- Eat well Even if you cannot stomach larger meals, try eating small portions often.
- Reduce congestion Place a humidifier in your room, keep your head elevated on your pillow while resting, or use nasal strips.
- Alleviate your sore throat Suck on ice chips, drink warm tea, or gargle with warm salt water.
It is best to reduce the number of over-the-counter medications you take. Many medications you normally would use to treat the symptoms of your cold are not safe to take during your pregnancy. The following is a list of medications that pose little risk to your baby during pregnancy however, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking any medications to relieve your symptoms.
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Watch Out For These Ingredients
The following are not recommended for nursing parents. Always check with a healthcare provider before taking any new medications, because some medications can reduce your breast milk supply or affect your baby’s sleep.
Ingredients to avoid while breastfeeding include:
- Alcohol: Some remedies have alcohol to help you sleep, so skip those.
- DayQuil: DayQuil contains dextromethorphan, a cough suppressant, and phenylephrine, a decongestant, which can reduce your milk supply.
- NyQuil: NyQuil contains dextromethorphan, but instead of phenylephrine, it contains doxylamine, an antihistamine and sleep aid, which can reduce breast milk supply.
- Diphenhydramine : This drug may cause sleepiness, and prolonged use may decrease your milk supply. Breastfeeding babies can also become drowsy or irritable.
- Pseudoephedrine : Decongestants that contain phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine can dry up milk supply.
Can You Take Antidepressants And Anti
There is mixed research about the safety of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for pregnant women. Some risks have been identified. For example, benzodiazepines are not recommended because they may cause problems like orofacial clefts, hypotonia, apnea, and feeding difficulties. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors have been linked to birth defects in some studies, but not others. Tricyclic Antidepressants may cause preterm births and other complications.
However, there are also risks to leaving a psychiatric disorder untreated. Women with depression are at increased risk of certain medical conditions, and they may not properly care for themselves during or after pregnancy. Its important for pregnant women to tend to their mental health so that they can properly care for the baby.
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Dealing With The Flu While Pregnant
Flu is an infectious viral illness spread by coughs and sneezes. It’s not the same as a cold. Flu is caused by a different group of viruses. Symptoms tend to be more severe and last longer.
You can catch flu short for influenza all year round, but it is especially common in winter.
If you are pregnant and think you have the flu, see your doctor as soon as possible. It is recommended that pregnant women who have the flu are treated with antiviral medicines because they are at much higher risk of complications. Antiviral medicines work best when started within 48 hours of symptoms starting.
Antivirals will not cure flu, but they will help to:
- reduce the length of time you are ill by around one day
- relieve some of the symptoms
- reduce the potential for serious complications
If this is the case, you should also:
- drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration
You can take paracetamol to help lower your high temperature and relieve aches.
Types Of Cold Medications To Consider
Even after your first trimester, it is best to speak with your doctor about the types and brands of cold medications that are safe to take. Typically speaking, you should avoid any multi-symptom product, which could include ingredients that range from painkillers and decongestants to expectorants and cough suppressants.
Instead, get the drug to treat the symptom you’re experiencing. There are a number of over-the-counter drugs considered to be safe in pregnancy, such as:
- Anesthetic cough drops such as Chloraseptic or Cepacol lozenges
- Expectorants containing guaifenesin to help clear mucus
- Alcohol-free cough syrups containing dextromethorphan, such as Tussin DM
- Combination guaifenesin/dextromethorphan drugs
- Tylenol to treat fever and minor aches and pains
- Menthol rubs such as Vicks or Mentholatum ointment
When buying any over-the-counter cold or flu remedy, always read the label closely. In some cases, there may be ingredients you should avoid. In others, there may be ingredients you don’t need.
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A Special Consideration: Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is a contagious infection that is characterized by excessive, violent coughing followed by an intake of breath that makes a whooping sound. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that all pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine during each of their pregnancies, preferably between the 27th-36th weeks of pregnancy.This will ensure that protection against whooping cough is passed down to your baby for the first couple of months after birth. Since your child will not receive their first whooping cough vaccine until they are 2 months old, getting this vaccine while you are pregnant will ensure your infant is protected until then. Learn more about taking vaccinations during your pregnancy.
Which Cold Medicines Are Safe During Pregnancy
A variety of cough and cold medications are available at your local pharmacy. But it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones are safe to take while pregnant. Different medications target different cold symptoms. Pinpointing your specific symptoms can help you decide which medications to take.
Research on cough and cold medications during pregnancy is limited. Some research suggests that certain medications should be avoided during the first trimester. This is because the first trimester is an important time of development for your baby. And you dont want anything to interfere with that process.
Below, well cover different medications that can be used for various cold symptoms. Always ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any medications while pregnant. If you need medications, take the lowest amount needed to relieve your symptoms. And only take them for the shortest period of time possible.
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Is It Safe To Take Cold Medications During Pregnancy
Here are a few cold medications that are okay to take during pregnancy: The antihistamines chlorpheniramine, depending on its severity, sunscreen Treating a Cold or Flu When Pregnant3 mins read aspirin ibuprofen , though, Virginia It is important for expectant women to be careful about medications taken during pregnancyMy favorite go-to cold remedies include steam pots, MD, Both help you reduce mucus and cough less often, During pregnancy, You might also have a severe headache, Cough suppressants can come in Stuffy nose and sinus pressure
What Can You Take For A Cold While Pregnant
Pregnancy is a unique period where extra care and caution are required to protect the fetus you are carrying. Catching a cold or flu during pregnancy can always be severe because it may last three times longer. Pregnant women are more susceptible to the complications of a cold, such as pneumonia. However, a cold doesnt harm the fetus. There are many ways to avoid colds and have a healthy pregnancy. You may take over-the-counter treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include
- Saline nasal drops or spray
- Tylenol Sinus
- Tylenol Cold & Flu
Always be cautious about using these medications during the first trimester because this is the most crucial phase of fetal development. Always check with your physician before taking any type of medication. Antibiotics are not required in most cases. They must always be taken after talking to your doctor.
Some of the natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy include
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How Can You Stop The Flu From Spreading
When you have the flu, you can spread it to others. Heres what you can do to help prevent it from spreading:
- Stay home when youre sick and limit contact with others.
- Dont kiss anyone.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue or into your arm. Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Try not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
- Wash your hands with soap and water before touching anyone. You also can use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Use enough hand sanitizer so that it takes at least 15 seconds for your hands to dry.
- Use hot, soapy water or a dishwasher to wash your dishes and utensils.
- Dont share your dishes, glasses, utensils or toothbrush.
Is It Dangerous To Have A Cold Or The Flu During Pregnancy
When a cold strikes during pregnancy, it does not really represent a health risk to the mother or her unborn child, even if it momentarily compromises the well-being and quality of life of the person affected by it.
The same cannot be said about the flu , which carries serious complication risks throughout pregnancy. These complications may result in respiratory problems and lead to hospitalization. In the worst cases, there is a risk of premature labour and even the death of the mother or foetus.
Canadian public health authorities recommend that all pregnant women be vaccinated against influenza, regardless of the stage of their pregnancy, to prepare for flu season . Additionally, it is advisable to treat pregnant women with antiviral medication if they have the flu. You should see a doctor if you think you have the flu.
Both a cold and the flu are contagious viral respiratory infections. Therefore, they cannot be treated with an antibiotic, unless they are accompanied by a bacterial infection such as otitis, sinusitis, bronchitis or pneumonia.
The best way to prevent these types of infections is to adopt effective hygiene measures, such as frequent handwashing and physical distancing. It is also important to avoid close contact with infected persons.
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