Both pregnant and non-pregnant women are equally susceptible of suffering from stomach infection. Even though the symptoms of stomach infection are same in both pregnant and non-pregnant women, pregnant women most take special care to ensure the health of their unborn child is not affected.
Understanding Stomach infection
The main cause of infection in the stomach is a stomach flu virus. This virus does not infect the stomach but infects the small intestine. The stomach flu virus is not an influenza virus nor is it a bacterium like Escherichia coli or Salmonella.
Symptoms of Stomach Infection during Pregnancy
Some of the symptoms of stomach infection during pregnancy include:
- Abdominal Pain
- Watery Diarrhea
- Stomach Ache
These symptoms can last for up to 10 days depending on the virus that has infected you. If symptoms of stomach infection are severe, it is best that you consult your gynecologist.
Will the infection affect the Baby?
Normally, the infection in the stomach does not affect the baby because the infection stays in the digestive tract. The biggest concern of pregnant women suffering from stomach infection is dehydration which can affect the health of the unborn child.
How to prevent Dehydration
Most gynecologists will not recommend antibiotics to kill the stomach flu virus. Therefore, the best option available to treat this infection is to provide the body with supportive care when it fights the infection. Support care means treating the symptoms of infection like dehydration, tiredness and even fever. Preventing dehydration in pregnant women is especially important as it can affect the health of the baby.
What is Dehydration?
Dehydration is the loss of fluids and essential salts or minerals from the body. The minerals or salts that get lost with the fluids are called electrolytes.
What Causes Dehydration
Some of the important causes of dehydration include:
- Excessive sweating or urination
- Not drinking enough fluids
- Pregnant women who have stomach infection suffer from dehydration because of vomiting and diarrhea.
- Symptoms of Dehydration
- Some of the symptoms of dehydration include:
- Dry mouth
- Little or no urine
- Excessive Thirst
- Severe Weakness
- Decreased Tears
How to deal with stomach infection during Pregnancy
Even though your gynecologist is the best person who can relieve you from this problem, we can suggest a few steps that will reduce the symptoms of the problem and help you in fighting the infection. Some of the steps you can take are:
- You must drink plenty of fluids if you are suffering from stomach infection as it prevents dehydration. However, you must avoid drinking sports or energy drinks, as they don’t replace the minerals and nutrients that get lost during illness. You must drink oral re-hydration fluids that are found in most grocery stores and pharmacies. These special fluids can be purchased without any prescription.
- You can avoid eating for a few hours to allow your gastrointestinal tract to settle down. You can gradually reintroduce food when you feel better. Eat food that is light on your stomach like oats and grains. Avoid eating dairy products like milk and cream.
- If your vomiting does not stop, you can take small quantity of clear liquids or a small chip of ice.
- Try to get as much rest as possible.
- If the vomiting or diarrhea is severe, it is best that you visit your gynaecologist. At times, dehydration caused due to excessive vomiting or diarrhea can lead to dehydration which will require immediate replacement of the fluids. Your doctor could inject the fluids directly into the veins using an intravenous line.