As a mum-to-be it’s important to look after yourself during the winter, here's our guide to winter illnesses
If you're sitting at home with a streaming nose, the odds are that you have the all-too-common cold. Colds can be caused by more than 100 different viruses that work by infecting the soft lining of your nose. “If you catch a cold or flu while you’re pregnant, take time out to rest, drink plenty of clear fluids and eat a balanced diet,” says Julia Headman, private health visitor. “You could also soothe a sore throat with honey and hot lemon, but avoid antihistamines and decongestants as these aren’t usually safe to take while pregnant.” If you’re worried, always see your GP. One thing you can take is paracetamol, and also dose up on vitamin C. “Like mums-to-be, breastfeeding mums with a cold need to avoid most over the counter remedies and keep treatment simple as your baby will get a dose of whatever you take,” says GP, Dr Gill Jenkins.
Being sick isn’t fun at the best of times, but if you are projectile vomiting, experiencing muscle pain, diarrhoea, lethargy, nausea or stomach cramps, then you may have winter vomiting. “Mums-to-be should rest and drink lots of clear fluids. Check with a pharmacist before taking any rehydration salts,” says private health visitor Julia Headland. And wash hands well to prevent passing on the infection.
Bronchiolitis causes the passages in the lungs to fill with mucus, which makes it very difficult to breath. This one is also highly contagious. Developing bronchiolitis will generally not damage your unborn baby. Rest, drink lots of fluids and keep an eye on your temperature, as a fever is the one thing that can be damaging.
A viral or bacterial infection of the airways leading to your lungs, a chest infection means you could have a chesty cough, breathing difficulties and chest pain. Good news for expectant mums is that chest infections can be treated with antibiotics if needed, and there are ones that are suitable during pregnancy, which your GP can prescribe. Drinking plenty of fluids will help, too.
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