Pregnancy can be uncomfortable enough, but add flu symptoms and it can become downright miserable. The combination can also be dangerous, as your immune system is already compromised during your pregnancy. Working with your doctor to determine the safest medication and monitoring your body are your best defenses during your illness. Get help from your partner, a friend or family member during your illness if necessary so you can recover as quickly as possible, for your sake and your baby’s.
Prepare some food for yourself or ask your partner to do so. Have them on hand during your illness so you never reach the point of dehydration or malnutrition. Whether you are suffering from a stomach flu or a respiratory influenza that may cause excess mucus, eating and drinking small amounts every two hours will help to mitigate any nausea and keep you nourished. Get plenty of clear, warm liquids that will help loosen the mucus and keep you hydrated.
Visit your doctor and clearly explain your symptoms. Have your partner come with you if you are feeling tired or ill, so he can talk with your doctor. Your doctor may prescribe or recommend vapor rubs, expectorants or flu medication. Do not take over-the-counter or prescription drugs unless your doctor has explicitly recommended them, as some can put your baby at risk.
Stuff some extra pillows under your pillow and the head of your bed to help the mucus run out of your sinuses and nose. Lying flat causes the mucus to stand, instead of draining. Because you must avoid sleeping on your back, particularly late in pregnancy, you will find extra pillows will raise the top half of your body while you lie on your side. Another pillow between your knees and ankles helps to balance your body weight comfortably.
Take a long, hot shower and breathe in plenty of steam. Allow the steam to help loosen mucus in your nose, sinuses and throat. If you are tired or can’t stand for a long time, place a shower chair in the shower. You’ll be able to relax and enjoy the hot steam without worrying about slipping and hurting the baby.