The H1N1 Flu is also called Swine Flu. Swine flu is an infection caused by the H1N1 virus virus. It's named for a virus that pigs can get and which people can also get. The virus is contagious and can spread from human to human. Symptoms of swine flu in people are similar to the symptoms of regular human flu and include:
There are antiviral medicines you can take to prevent or treat swine flu. There is no vaccine available right now to protect against swine flu. You can help prevent the spread of germs that cause respiratory illnesses like influenza by:
Take the Flu Test and see if you could have the flu.
The Cold VERSUS the Flu in Pregnancy
The cold and the flu are very different medical situations. Colds are common and usually not harmful. The flu, on the other hand can be very serious and requires medical attention, especially if it is the "swine flu" (aka Novel Influenza A H1N1 flu)
Recently, a new flu virus was detected, Novel Influenza A (H1N1). People infected with this virus can develop serious complications, and pregnant women are at higher risks.
Read more about the Swine Flu or Novel Influenza A (H1N1) and pregnancy on the CDC website.
Call your doctor if you have the following:
So it's no surprise that you stand a good chance of getting a cold while pregnant. The only thing is, when you're expecting, weathering a cold or a nagging cough goes beyond the simple logistics of seeking relief from your symptoms--after all, now you have a baby and his health to think about as well.
For a rundown on the available treatment options that can keep both you and your baby comfortable during cold season, read on.
In general, coughs and colds are not dangerous conditions. They might be annoying and make you feel awful, but neither presents a real risk to your health or the health of your baby.
Most cold symptoms are not considered an emergency, and there is normally no need to make an emergency phone call to your doctor if you have average cold symptoms.
Sinus infections are relatively common in pregnancy because of the increased nasal congestion, and fighting one may require the use of antibiotics. Women with asthma should pay special attention to their breathing and see their practitioner without delay if they are having difficulty.
If you develop a severe cough, rest assured that the fetus is protected inside your uterus--you cannot cough so hard that you miscarry or go into labor. However, the loss of urine is, unfortunately, pretty common. Probably the best thing you can do about stress urinary continence is to empty your bladder frequently and practice your kegel exercises.
Coughs and colds are usually caused by viruses, which do not benefit from antibiotics, and so must run their course. Medical treatment can relieve symptoms so that you feel better, but it won't make you get better any faster. Except for treating fever, it often is fine to simply tough it out if you don't want to take any medications. Here are tips to help you alleviate some of the discomfort that can accompany a cold.
Sometimes drugs are necessary either for medical reasons or for symptom relief. (For more information, see the article Categories of Drugs in Pregnancy, which explains the FDA's safety classes for medicines.
Treating pain and fever
Pain is bad because it hurts. Fever is bad because it overheats the fetus. Fever is unhealthy for the fetus throughout pregnancy, but high fever in the first trimester is thought to be responsible for certain birth defects, including problems in brain and spine development. It's generally best to follow this rule: If you get a fever in pregnancy, take medications to bring it down, and if you cannot reduce your temperature, call your doctor.
Fever also increases sweating and fluid loss, so be sure to drink lots of cool fluids when you have a high temperature. Most pregnant women can take acetaminophen (Tylenol) throughout the pregnancy without a problem. If you are a heavy drinker (three or more drinks a day), you need to discuss this with your practitioner, not only because alcohol and acetaminophen can be a lethal combination, but also because drinking while pregnant has health implications for your baby. Ibuprofen is probably safe to take in the first and second trimesters, but it may cause problems for the baby's circulation after 32 weeks' gestation. Aspirin is usually not recommended in pregnancy. A persistent fever or severe illness in pregnancy always warrants a call to your doctor.
What over-the-counter medicines are considered safe during pregnancy?