9 tips to prevent cold and flu during pregnancy
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The good news is that there are several ways to prevent the flu so you can stay healthy through your pregnancy. Here are nine.
1. Get the flu vaccine
Even if this season’s flu vaccine is not 100 percent effective, it’s still better than nothing and you may even have milder symptoms if you do get sick.
The antibodies you make from the vaccine are also passed onto your baby, protecting him until he’s six months old, at which point he can receive the vaccine himself. In fact, according to a study in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, the flu vaccine during pregnancy was 92 percent effective at preventing infants from being hospitalized. Those same antibodies are also passed through breast milk.
2. Wash your hands
Be sure to wash your hands frequently to avoid picking up the virus. Use warm water and soap, scrub the front and back of your hands, in between your fingers and under your fingernails for at least 20 seconds. When soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
3. Don’t touch your face
The flu virus can easily spread into the mouth, nose, and eyes so do your best to keep your hands away until you’ve washed them.
4. Kill the germs
Disinfect all surfaces you frequently touch at home and work, especially if someone has been sick.
5. Eat healthily
Plenty of fruits and vegetables, ideally five to nine servings a day, will give you the antioxidants to help strengthen your immune system.
6. Avoid crowds
You might want to re-think that baby expo because coming into close contact with other people can increase your chances of catching the flu. If you’ll be traveling, wash your hands frequently and wipe down all surfaces on the plane with disinfectant wipes.
7. Consider supplements
Vitamin C, D3, and other supplements may help you to fend off the flu. Be sure to talk with your doctor first about which ones are safe during pregnancy.
8. Rest and relax
You’re probably a restless sleeper these days, but make it a point to get enough rest because it can strengthen your immunity. Also, activities that reduce stress like a prenatal yoga class, meditation, a day at the spa, and sex can help too.
9. Get checked
If you have a high, persistent fever, call your physician immediately. The swab test for the flu will give you results fast but it isn’t 100 percent accurate. Nevertheless, your physician may prescribe Tamiflu anyway.