The intestinal flu can strike the already queasy stomach of pregnancy. An infection of the intestinal lining 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.
- Go to bed and rest as many hours a day as you can.
- Prevent dehydration. 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