Infections

Chicken Pox

(Varicella) If you have previously had chicken pox you are immune to further infection ? a blood test can determine whether or not you have immunity. The infection is worse in pregnant women and can occasionally cause birth defects. If you come into contact with chicken pox or shingles during pregnancy and you are not immune, please contact us urgently to arrange for an injection, which will minimise your chances of catching the virus.

German Measles (Rubella)

This virus causes a mild illness of fever, cold-like symptoms and a pink rash. German measles infection in pregnancy can cause birth defects. Children in Australia are vaccinated against German measles, so it is not commonly seen here. A blood test can determine whether or not you have immunity.

Slapped Cheek Syndrome (Parvovirus)

This virus causes fever and red cheeks in children and can cause anaemia in unborn babies. Adults may not have any symptoms. If you believe you have come into contact with this condition during your pregnancy, a simple blood test can determine whether you have had the infection before and therefore have immunity and are not at risk.

Coughs & Colds

Coughs and colds are common during pregnancy and the following hints may be of use:

  • Keep up your intake of fluids.
  • Panadol or Panadeine may be taken for fever, headache, sore throats and aches and pains.
  • Do not take Aspirin, Disprin, Nurofen, Ibuprufen, Voltaren or cold and flu preparations containing pseudoephedrine.
  • Strepsils may help a sore throat.
  • Drixine nasal spray can be used for a short time (no more than 3 days) to relieve nasal congestion.
  • For a dry cough you can take Pholcodeine, Benadryl Dry or Rikodeine.
  • For a moist cough you can take Benadryl for the Family ? Chesty.
  • If you have a temperature take regular Panadol and see your GP.
Flu

The annual flu vaccine is recommended for pregnant women. This includes the vaccine for H1N1 flu (swine flu), which is a variant of the normal seasonal flu.

Vaginal thrush

Almost all women have increased vaginal discharge during pregnancy. If the discharge smells unpleasant, causes soreness or itching, or is discoloured, you may have a vaginal infection. The most common infection is thrush.

Canestan cream or pessaries can be used as normal in pregnancy. Many people prefer to use pessaries in pregnancy, as they are inserted easily with a finger.

The information contained is not meant to replace medical advice.  Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your health, please contact your health care professional.

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