Concerns & assurance when you are pregnant and sick

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, addresses concerns for women who are pregnant and sick on how pregnancy affects your cold or flu, and how to best treat your sickness
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Concerns & assurance when you are pregnant and sick

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When you're sick during pregnancy, it can hit you harder and last longer because your immune system is suppressed. It's important to try to keep from getting sick in the first place. The flu vaccine is recommended for all pregnant women regardless of gestational age and careful hand washing and avoiding coworkers and friends and family members who are sick can go a long way. If you do get sick, depending on your symptoms, you would wanna contact your doctor and figure out next steps. If you do think that you have the flu, your doctor will probably want to put you on an antiviral medication like Tamiflu. If you have the stomach flu, food poisoning, the key thing is to try to keep from getting dehydrated. You wanna drink fluids, tea, broth, suck on popsicles. And, if you do feel you're getting dehydrated, you may need to come in to the hospital to get some IV fluids. If you have a regular viral infection, well, it's tincture of time and waiting and controlling the symptoms like a sore throat or a cough will be your best bet. Now, if it's a bacterial infection like a sinus infection caused by a bacteria instead of a virus, antibiotics are necessary and plenty of them are safe during pregnancy and you wanna talk to your health care provider to make sure the antibiotic that you're going on is one of the ones that is safe during your gestation. There are certain illnesses that can affect the unborn pregnancy such as parvovirus, chicken pox or varicella and rubella. And, if you have any signs or symptoms of these, you're gonna wanna get checked out. Now, most adult women already have protective antibodies against these infections. But, if you haven't been vaccinated against them or think you maybe at risk or have been exposed to someone who has these infections, you wanna make sure you already have the protective antibodies. At the end of the day, when you get sick, you wanna make sure that you and your baby are still safe. We know that fevers during pregnancy can be dangerous to the unborn child. And, if you have prolong type fevers, you'll definitely wanna contact your healthcare provider to see if you need to take some type of medication to bring down the fever.

OBGYN Lauren Hyman, MD, addresses concerns for women who are pregnant and sick on how pregnancy affects your cold or flu, and how to best treat your sickness

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Lauren D. Hyman, MD

Obstetrician Gynecologist

Dr. Lauren Hyman is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist. After receiving her ScB from Brown University and her medical degree from Yale University, Dr. Hyman returned to Southern California where she has been in private practice in the West Hills area for fifteen years. She can be seen weekly on Hallmark Channelʼs Home and Family Pregnancy Series and is a contributing writer on mom.me. She lives with her husband and two children in Los Angeles.

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