Friday, January 25, 2013

Flu relief for Moms-to-be

A recent article on discussed the trickiness of dealing with the flu or flu-like symptoms while pregnant, since there’s a need to be conscious of how medications for symptom relief might affect your little one.

Dr. Noushin Firouzbakht, OB/GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth, said there are over-the-counter medications that are safe for pregnant women, and it’s important to check with your OB/GYN or a trusted source like the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website to find out what’s safe for you. You can also find general info on medication and pregnancy here.

In general, it’s okay to take antihistamines, Tylenol, and cough medication like Robitussen that does not contain alcohol, Dr. Firouzbakht said. It’s important to avoid psudephendrine if you have blood pressure issues.

If you’re pregnant and you suspect you have the flu, get tested, she said. Tamiflu, a medication for those diagnosed with flu, is safe for pregnant women.

The best medicine, however, is prevention.

"The flu vaccine is absolutely a must for pregnant women," Dr. Firouzbakht said. "Also, take the time to wash your hands while singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,’ avoid those who are sick, and wipe down daily-used surfaces like countertops and computer keyboards with antibacterial wipes."

She also recommends taking 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day and eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to keep your immune system strong.

"I’ve seen a lot of pregnant patients with viral illnesses this year, but not very many with the flu," she said. "We were successful with the vaccine this year."

Physicians on the medical staff are not employees or agents of the hospital.

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