Signs Of The Flu? Have a healthy, Symptoms-Free Pregnancy
It’s that time of year again. Flu season. If you’re expecting, you’ve probably already had your flu shot, and the last thing you can even contemplate is catching a cold or flu in the middle of your pregnancy. In most cases, you’ll just have tough it out. How long does the flu last? Most people are much better within a week. But how much fun is that?! So I have good news for you. There are options. Options to prevent the flu, as well as options for treatment in case you do succumb this season. What are some signs of the flu? Flu symptoms in adults are similar to flu symptoms in children – fever, muscle aches, chills and coughing.
If you’re expecting, you’ve probably already had your flu shot, and the last thing you can even contemplate is catching a cold or flu in the middle of your pregnancy.
Natural supplementation can go a long way in helping you out here. It’s just a matter of finding what works and what is safe for you. It’s important to remember that quality does matter when it comes to supplements. If you find a 3-for-1 deal at the drug store, I’d suggest passing that up. It probably is too good to be true. Higher quality supplements are more likely to give you the dose you need in order to be effective, and have been rigorously tested. They may be more expensive but are likely safer. So, what are my go-to favourites when it comes to fueling that immune system in my mamas-to-be?
Higher quality supplements are more likely to give you the dose you need in order to be effective, and have been rigorously tested.
*Don’t forget to consult your healthcare provider before trying any of the below suggestions!
Cold & Flu Prevention & Treatment Options
You’ve probably already got your prenatal, vitamin C and Vitamin D stocked in your medicine cabinet. Here are a few you may not have tried!
Every mom-to-be in my practice gets put on this one. There is some controversy over the effectiveness of this awesome anti-microbial botanical. However, many studies have shown the immune stimulating benefits of good quality Echinacea (remember, no 3-for-1 deals), but it is best used preventatively, with studies showing it can reduce your risk of catching a cold by as much as 58%. My personal fav: Echinacea Complex by Mediherb
Influenzinum 2014/2015 by Boiron
This is one of my favourites in pregnancy as well. It is extremely safe, and is one of the best flu prevention and treatment options. The formula is updated every year based on the flu strain predicted by the World Health Organization, and it has been shown to stimulate the body’s defense system. So how do you take it? Adults and kids over 2, dissolve 16 pellets under the tongue every week for 4 weeks. Wait another 3 weeks, and dissolve the final 16 pellets under the tongue.
Garlic & Ginger
What would a cold a flu treatment plan be without these two amazing herbs?! Garlic, among its many beneficial effects, is a powerful antimicrobial, meaning it fights viral, bacterial and fungal infections, and has long been shown to be effective in fighting colds and flus. It also helps to reduce the duration of the illness. The best way to take it down? Fresh, unfortunately. Crush 1 clove with a spoon, put it in some water and swallow! Or, run in through your juicer, and add it to your vegetable juice. You may want to save this trick for the evening though, since it can leave a pretty strong odor! Adding ginger may help get rid of the bite and get rid of the flu. Ginger, aside from its more well-known use as an anti-nauseant, is a wonderful anti-viral, and can help fight the flu symptoms as well. Generally, 1 g daily will do the trick, or you can crush/chop this up, just like the garlic, and make some fresh ginger tea. It will also have the added benefit of helping with morning sickness, if you’re suffering from that as well.
Garlic, among its many beneficial effects, is a powerful antimicrobial, meaning it fights viral, bacterial and fungal infections, and has long been shown to be effective in fighting colds and flus.
Oscillococcinum by Boiron
This is one of my favourite flu treatments! Not only can it be used in pregnancy, but I suggest this stay stocked in your medicine cabinet for the entire family. Take this at the first signs of the flu, and it can help fight the worst flu symptoms. How to take it? As soon as those symptoms of influenza appear, dissolve entire contests of a tube in your mouth, and repeat 2 more doses at 6-hour intervals. For full-blown flu symptoms, take one tube orally every morning and evening for 3 days. For infants under 2 years of age, follow the same protocol, just dissolve the contents in water.
Don’t forget to stay hydrated, and get in those electrolytes (the non-sugary, cool-aid coloured kind). You can also try adding 5 drops each of eucalyptus, oregano oil and peppermint oil right into the water of your humidifier, and let this do its magic overnight.
All of the above are great options during pregnancy, but can be used by the entire family as well. Don’t forget, consult with your health care provider before starting any supplements during pregnancy.
Have a healthy flu season!
*Please Note: The information presented in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or cure, or to replace the medical advice of your health care provider. Before beginning any nutraceutical interventions, it is always best to consult with your health care provider to ensure that it is safe and right for you.
Andra is one of Toronto’s leading Naturopathic Doctor’s. She specializes in women’s hormonal and sexual health, and loves to share her knowledge and experience to help women through all the different phases of life. Life should be fun, and Andra will help you stay healthy while enjoying every bit of it!