When a woman is pregnant, her immunity may get weakened. This increases her chances of catching an infection or a virus. Probably that's the reason why stomach virus occurs so commonly. Stomach flu is not particularly a serious condition, although it can turn out to be dangerous if its symptoms are not kept under control. Knowing about the causes, symptoms and treatments mentioned in this HerHaleness article will help a pregnant woman to get herself cured of stomach flu, as soon as this condition develops.
The medical term for this condition is gastroenteritis and it presents itself due to an infection caused by the stomach flu viruses such as norovirus, rotavirus, adenovirus and astrovirus. Majority of the stomach flu cases are caused due to contaminated water and food.
Some lesser prevalent reasons behind stomach flu are bacteria, parasites, unsuitable medicines and certain foods in the diet which cause an adverse reaction in the body. All these can lead to stomach flu during pregnancy. Once the symptoms of this condition mentioned below are recognized, a pregnant woman can start taking steps to cure it.
Gastroenteritis causes immense discomfort to a pregnant woman, producing symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, dehydration, fever, chills, muscle pain, fatigue and headache. This condition in itself is not detrimental to the woman or her unborn child's health, still, the symptoms such as diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration as well as cause loss of essential nutrients from the body. Both of these conditions can pose a great threat to the health of the unborn child. That's why, treating stomach virus as early as possible is extremely important.
The treatment is centered around preventing the body from getting dehydrated. So, pregnant women with stomach flu should include plenty of liquids in their diet. Water, fresh fruit juices, particularly white grape juice and oral rehydration solutions that are available in medical stores and can be taken without prescription, are some of the healthy options to replenish the lost liquids.
Some women are unable to eat anything for one or two days when they suffer from gastroenteritis. There is nothing to worry about it as remaining hungry for about twenty four hours won't have any effect on the unborn baby's health. However, the pregnant woman should see to it that her body does not become dehydrated as it can be dangerous for the baby.
If the body of the pregnant woman becomes immensely dehydrated and she develops symptoms such as extreme tiredness, dark yellow urine, lesser frequency in urination and sometimes no urination at all, lightheadedness, weakness and dryness in mouth, there are chances that she might suffer from a miscarriage or may have to undergo preterm labor. That's why, taking plenty of liquids is of utmost importance. A very effective way to get over nausea and keep the body hydrated is to suck on ice chips every few minutes. This helps to prevent vomiting as well as dehydration.
For women who are recuperating from a stomach flu, there are certain foods that should be included in the diet, which are known to be light on stomach, healthy and easily digested. Examples of such foods are bananas, rice, toast, applesauce and broth. Such foods should be slowly introduced in the diet and later on regular healthy, balanced diet can be started, once the woman gets cured and is able to digest food normally.
At the same time, certain foods, such as fried foods, high sugar foods, fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine and dairy products should be avoided in the diet. Besides these, taking rest and making a point to sleep for seven to eight hours everyday, when recovering from stomach flu, will help in fastening the healing process.
By following these simple tips, mild cases of stomach virus can be treated at home itself. However, if the symptoms such as dehydration, vomiting and diarrhea become severe and the woman feels very weak, lethargic and unable to digest any beverage or solid food for more than a day, a doctor should be consulted immediately.
In such cases, emergency rehydration treatment is given to the woman. Fluids are replenished in her body through intravenous (IV) line. As nothing in pregnancy should be taken lightly, so if the symptoms of stomach flu refuse to go in a day or two, medical help should be sought without any kind of delay.