5 Ways to Avoid the Flu in Winter for Pregnant Women

An expectant mother cannot afford getting ill, so you need to use all the methods of protection from viruses.

1. Take antivirals

Instead of pills, you should pay attention to gels, ointments and drops that can be taken during pregnancy. Antiviral drugs stimulate the production of substances fighting infections (interferons). Coming in contact with other cells, they make them impervious to viruses and protect the body until the basic defense mechanism of antibodies starts working. Why is it so important to prepare for the “attacks” of viruses in advance during pregnancy? The point is that the formation of interferon molecules in vivo also takes some time, so the body may not be able to start protecting itself; in this case, the expectant mother will get sick. Local antiviral medicines can be used from 2 to 4 weeks, and then the preventive course can be repeated, if necessary.

2. Rinse the nose

You can rinse the nose with a seawater solution. How does it work? First, hydrated mucosa will not allow viruses to rapidly penetrate the body. Second, rinsing the nose after being outdoors or visiting public places, you remove pathogens from the mucous membranes. Third, nutrients and minerals contribute to the formation of bioactive substances in the nasal mucosa (lysozyme and interferon) and thus increase the local protection. Nasal lavage solutions do not contain chemical additives and are allowed during pregnancy. They can be bought at a pharmacy or made on your own by dissolving 1-1.5 tsp of table or sea salt in a glass of water.

3. Wear a mask

A mask does not protect healthy people from viruses because the pores in it are too big. However, an expectant mother is still recommended to use a mask to protect the mucous membranes of her airway from droplets of mucus that come from sneezing, coughing or simply when ill people are talking. If somebody is ill in your family, ask them to wear a mask for 5-7 days (as long as the risk of infecting the expectant mother is high).

4. Improving nutrition

For the sake of general prevention of viral diseases expectant mothers are advised to take multivitamins for pregnant women as well as an improved vegetable and fruit menu. It is useful to eat onions and garlic (these are natural antibiotics containing allicin substance that has a marked antiviral effect). The foods containing protein are also in demand because antibodies protecting the body from viruses are protein compounds, and their formation requires regular dietary intake of protein. It is recommended to drink plenty of fluids to “wash out the virus” from the body. In addition, it is advised to drink mineral water without gas, cranberry juice, or rosehip decoction during pregnancy.

5. Avoid crowded places

In periods of epidemics, expectant mothers are advised against visiting crowded places. For example, if you need to get to work during peak hours, talk to the managers about shifting your work schedule.

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