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Stomach Bugs During Pregnancy – Symptoms, Causes & What to do

Table of Contents

Stomach Bugs During Pregnancy

Table of Contents

Catching a stomach bugs during pregnancy is a common symptom just like morning sickness. Be rest assured, this symptom will not intend to harm either you or your baby and is curable. To know about the stomach flu during pregnancy and what you must do to aid this unpleasant and uncomfortable stomach bug, read the article below.

Causes and symptoms of a stomach bug during pregnancy?

Generally, if pregnant or not, these stomach bugs are caused due to a stomach virus or the bacterias such as salmonella, which are often the culprits of these stomach bugs. The result in stomach cramps that must be medically reviewed in order to go away and have a healthy gut.

As far as the symptoms are considered, these gastrointestinal bugs are often hard to differentiate from the morning sickness symptoms as they are quite similar. This is especially true for women in their early weeks of pregnancy.

These symptoms include nausea and vomiting, stomach cramps, fever, or diarrhea, and if you have either or all of these, there are chances of you having a stomach bug. Also note, these symptoms are also indicators for food poisoning, so make sure to ask your doctor and seek medical aids to get rid of them.

What to do if caught by stomach flu or a stomach virus when pregnant?

Irrespective of the cause of the irritant immune system caused by either the churning from pregnancy hormones, a virus, or undercooked meat, the treatment remains the same. You must let your body some rest to cope with the ache, focus on the intake of fluids other than foods as you mostly lose them due to vomiting or diarrhea.

Listed below are a few aids mentioned or of what you must do when you catch a stomach virus:

  • Contact the doctor

This is a given, you must always have a doctor in the loop when it comes to your health or even for any concern for that matter especially when pregnant.

Discuss every small bit, be it of you being exposed to expired food especially processed meat, fresh produce, or unpasteurized juices or cheese as these could risk listeriosis infection and the doctor must be aware of it to help you prescribe the suitable medicines. It won’t affect you per se, as women almost never get ill from the foodborne illness, but could be of potential danger when expecting or are on antibiotics.

  • Drink more to avoid dehydration

The best way to know your limit or the maximum capacity of what amount you can hold of the water in you, try sipping a teaspoon of water every 10 minutes an hour.

If you are able to handle it, you can of course handle at least 3 bottles in a day. This will ensure a good and healthy gut, will flush down any possible growth of bacteria that could form and cause stomach cramps, and keeps you hydrated.

Opt for drinks like water, diluted juice (white grapes are known to be the easiest on the stomach), clear vegetable or non-veg broth, weak decaffeinated tea, or even hot water with lemon as it helps cut through the gas.

  • Watch out for any signs of dehydration

For those pregnant women who are suffering from a stomach bug, dehydration is a common problem to face as you are now expected to drink not for one but two.

The signs or symptoms indicating dehydration include peeing less or your pee is a darker shade of yellow compared to the expected straw-like color. In this case, consult your doctor for some rehydration fluid tips or choices like Pedialyte.

  • Have a slow transition into liquids

As you were to consume only fluids to help flush down the stomach bugs, the transition back to the solids must be gradual and not instant.

Follow the lead of the stomach to add the solids back to your diet across 24 hours, and when you do, first start with bland and fat-free food like white rice or unbuttered toast, applesauce, bananas, cream of rice cereal.

Also make sure to add ginger be it via ginger ale or ginger candies, as it is good for the stomach.

  • Take medically reviewed medicines

When you first find the signs of stomach bugs, you need to consult your doctor to prevent further health hazards and to be safe as per their prescription.

Therefore, it is best to take the support of the medicines approved by the doctors, even the OTC ones.

For instance, antacids like tums and Maalox are generally approved during pregnancy, as well as gas relievers like gas-x and Mylicon. The doctor might also provide certain anti-diarrheal medicines but only post the first trimester.

Note -Most stomach bugs are curable and go away on their own within a day or two, just in case that’s not the same for you, seek medical help.

These were the causes and aids for stomach flu or a stomach bug during pregnancy.

However, stomach cramps during pregnancy are not only caused by the flu but have more indicators for the cause.

Look them up in the article via the link and know more about the possible causes of these stomach cramps.

Final Conclusion

Stomach flu is quite a common symptom of pregnancy and does away on its own and it does not harm the unborn baby in any way. However, if in case the ache or cramps tend to increase and are not relieved, it is recommended to consult a doctor immediately for a medical overview. To know more read the article above.

Stomach Bugs During Pregnancy FAQs:

1)What can a pregnant woman take for a stomach bug?

In order to do away or aid the stomach bug during pregnancy, to be moms must consume more water as you will be needing to drink for two and not one. You may choose to consume any fluid, such as water, herbal tea, vegetable and non-veg broth, and fizzy drinks like ginger ale for a healthy gut.

2)Are stomach bugs common in pregnancy?

Yes, they are! Stomach bugs are a common symptom of pregnancy. These are caused by the stomach virus and go away within a day or so and do not affect your baby. But, If you tend to have them for a longer period, consult your doctor immediately so they can provide medicines.

3) Can gastroenteritis cause miscarriage?

According to studies, gastroenteritis during pregnancy has no adverse effects on a neonatal outcome. But, it could cause possible complications in pregnancy, like a febrile illness that causes miscarriage or premature labor, or also dehydration could cause reduce placental blood flow.


Reviewed By:

Esha Chainani - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Esha Chainani - Obstetrician and Gynaecologist

Dr. Esha Chainani is an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, and laparoscopic surgeon who aims to break the stigma around women’s health by advocating an inclusive and open practice of obstetrics and gynecology and an author of several internationally published research papers and health articles in the media like the Swaddle.
She also founded Premaa, a non-profit to reduce maternal morbidity and eventual maternal mortality by providing lower-income pregnant women living in urban areas with cell phone access through an app that can feature an entire section about contraception as well for a whole gamut of reproductive health.
A panel for multiple health sessions including with the UN, USAID, BMC, gender at work, and multiple non-profit organisations, and is on the advisory panel of the South Indian medical students association.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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