Getting Through the Stomach Flu During Pregnancy
One uncomfortable sickness during pregnancy which can strike your already queasy stomach is the stomach flu. The stomach flu, an infection of the intestinal lining, is also referred to as 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
1. Go to bed and rest as many hours a day as you can.
2. 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.
3. Because of nausea and vomiting you may find it easier to retain fluids taken in the form of juice bars or ice chips.
4. 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.
Dr. Sears, or Dr. Bill as his “little patients” call him, has been advising busy parents on how to raise healthier families for over 40 years. He received his medical training at Harvard Medical School’s Children’s Hospital in Boston and The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, the world’s largest children’s hospital, where he was associate ward chief of the newborn intensive care unit before serving as the chief of pediatrics at Toronto Western Hospital, a teaching hospital of the University of Toronto. He has served as a professor of pediatrics at the University of Toronto, University of South Carolina, University of Southern California School of Medicine, and University of California: Irvine. As a father of 8 children, he coached Little League sports for 20 years, and together with his wife Martha has written more than 40 best-selling books and countless articles on nutrition, parenting, and healthy aging. He serves as a health consultant for magazines, TV, radio and other media, and his AskDrSears.com website is one of the most popular health and parenting sites. Dr. Sears has appeared on over 100 television programs, including 20/20, Good Morning America, Oprah, Today, The View, and Dr. Phil, and was featured on the cover of TIME Magazine in May 2012. He is noted for his science-made-simple-and-fun approach to family health.