Gastroenteritis, commonly referred to as stomach flu, frequently affects pregnant women. Since pregnancy often weakens a woman's immune system, the pregnant woman is more vulnerable to viruses and other illnesses. While an unwelcome experience for mothers and their unborn babies, gastroenteritis does not impact the baby since the virus remains within the mother’s digestive tract. The most critical issue facing pregnant women is dehydration due to the fluids lost from vomiting and diarrhea.
Things You'll Need
- Oral Rehydration Fluids
- Bland foods such as toast, broth, bananas, rice
- Ice Chips
Drink copious amounts of clear fluids such as water, oral rehydration solutions, and juices to avoid dehydration. Avoid consuming sports drinks since they do not replenish nutrients lost during the bout with the virus. Oral rehydration solutions are available without a prescription at most grocery and drug stores.
Suck on ice chips or Popsicles if you have a hard time keeping anything down due to vomiting. Do not worry if you do not feel hungry or cannot hold food down. Your baby’s health will not suffer if you fail to eat for a few days during your bout with the stomach flu. Focus on staying hydrated since dehydration can pose complications for you and your baby.
Monitor yourself for signs of dehydration such as dark urine, lack of urination, dry mouth, excessive thirst, lethargy, or dizziness since dehydration is especially dangerous during pregnancy. Dehydration can cause such complications as preterm labor or spontaneous miscarriage.
Avoid caffeine, dairy products, spicy foods, and fried or fatty foods while you are ill. According to the Mayo Clinic, these items can exacerbate your illness and make you feel worse.
Visit your caregiver or an emergency room if vomiting or diarrhea is severe and you display signs of dehydration. You might need emergency rehydration treatment in which fluids are replaced through your veins via an intravenous (IV) line.
Reintroduce solids slowly starting with mild, easily digestible foods such as broth, rice, gelatin, bananas, and toast. Let your appetite guide you as to when to begin eating these foods and back off if they make you ill.