Getting Through the Stomach Flu During Pregnancy
The stomach flu during pregnancy can strike your already queasy stomach. An infection of the intestinal lining common referred to as the stomach flu is called gastroenteritis. It is recognized by the symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, crimpy lower abdominal pain and often fever. While you don’t have to worry that the infection affects your baby, the resulting loss of fluids and body salts (electrolytes) could cause you to become dehydrated, jeopardizing your health and that of your baby.
4 Tips for Keeping You and Baby Healthy while you are Sick
- Go to bed and rest as many hours a day as you can.
- Prevent dehydration when you have the stomach flu during pregnancy. Sip on fluids all day long. Small, frequent sips are best. You may need to drink an additional quart of fluids in addition to your already increased fluid intake. To be sure you’re replenishing adequate electrolytes, try oral electrolyte solutions (Pedialyte, Resol, Rehydralyte, Ricelyte) available over-the-counter. Commercially available oral rehydration fluid has the proper balance of sugar and electrolytes to promote adequate absorption of fluids from inflamed intestines. Many homemade mixtures contain either too much sugar or not enough sodium. Too much sugar in the solution can actually increase the diarrhea. You can make your own solution: to one quart of juice (orange, grape, apple, or pineapple) add two teaspoons of table salt.
- Because of nausea and vomiting you may find it easier to retain fluids taken in the form of juice bars or ice chips.
- Unless you really can’t keep them down, it’s important to eat some solid foods, otherwise the diarrhea may worsen and your nutrition may be inadequate. Try easy-on-the-intestine foods: rice, baked potatoes, bananas and yellow vegetables.