The short answer is no. A stomach bug cannot affect your baby. Why? Because the stomach bug actually stays within the digestive tract. Also, while pregnant, your body has many natural defenses that help protect your baby.
The long answer is that you need to be extra careful. Make sure that you stay well hydrated, as the biggest concern when having a stomach bug while pregnant is the risk for severe dehydration. And your severe dehydration can affect the baby.
So, the first step is to make sure you drink plenty of fluids: water, juice or oral re-hydration fluids (ORF). This way, you’ll greatly reduce your chances of becoming dehydrated. The oral re-hydration fluids are special fluids used for oral re-hydration. They can be found in most pharmacies or grocery stores and you don’t need a prescription to buy them.
Dehydration is the loss of fluids from the body. Along with the fluids can also be lost important salts or minerals (these are known as electrolytes).
But how do you know that you’re becoming dehydrated? Light-headedness, decreased tears or no tears at all, increased or extreme thirst, decreased urine output, sunken eyes, lack of regular elasticity of the skin and dry mouth are all symptoms of dehydration.
You also need to know that there is no medicine that will kill the stomach bug viruses. So the only treatment for a stomach bug while pregnant is to treat symptoms that can occur, such as dehydration. And then let your body to fight the infection.
The symptoms of stomach bug are the same for pregnant and non-pregnant women and can include nausea, vomiting, watery diarrhea, abdominal cramping (“stomach ache”), abdominal pain and dehydration. Other stomach bug symptoms can include: fever, chills, headache, muscle aches and general sense of tiredness.
To learn more about this, visit the stomach bug symptoms page.
What to do when having a stomach bug while pregnant?
- Like I said before, drink plenty of fluids. This is the most important thing you can do to avoid dehydration.
- Visit your doctor if diarrhea or vomiting is severe, as you might need to go to the hospital for an intravenous re-hydration.
- Do not eat anything for a few hours. This will allow your gastrointestinal tract to settle.
- Avoid caffeine and dairy products
- Toast, rice, bananas, apples and broth are easy to digest foods that you can try to eat. But be careful, as you should gradually reintroduce food.
- If vomiting is still a problem, suck on ice chips. You can also try to sip small amounts of clear liquids.
- Get plenty of rest. Both you and your baby need this.
As you can see, having a stomach bug while pregnant is not that bad, so try to relax a bit, but be careful at the same time.