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Eeyore

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Tuesday, June 3rd 2008, 11:17am

PREGNANCY & HEALTH - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What minor problems can happen during pregnancy?

During pregnancy it is normal to experience one or more 'side effects', but don't worry, they are usually mild and relatively short-lived. Plus, once your baby arrives it will all be worthwhile.

Here are a few pointers if you do experience any of the common problems:

Backache

During pregnancy, your ligaments stretch and soften in preparation for labour. This means that there is extra strain on the joints of your back and hips, sometimes causing pain and discomfort.

Massage can be helpful in relieving backache, as can some back-strengthening exercises (ask your midwife to show you). Avoid wearing high-heels, make sure that your mattress is firm, and be very careful when lifting. Try to improve your posture by checking that your neck and back are in roughly a straight line, and sit with your back straight and well supported. In the later stages of pregnancy, get as much rest as possible to take the strain off your back.


Constipation

It may become difficult to pass stools during the early stages of pregnancy because the hormonal changes occurring in your body affect your intestines. Try eating foods with plenty of fibre in them, such as wholemeal bread and pasta, fruit, vegetables, and beans and lentils. Also, drink plenty of water.


Cramps

Sudden, sharp pain in your calf muscles or feet is common in pregnancy, usually at night-time. Getting some gentle exercise will help to improve your circulation, and may help to stop the cramping happening. If it does occur, rub the area firmly and flex your foot upwards. This should help to relieve the pain.


Faintness/dizziness

It is common to feel faint when you are pregnant. Often, not enough blood gets to your brain because your uterus puts such a great demand on your blood supply. Try not to stand for long periods of time because the blood will go to your legs and feet. If it happens while you are standing up, try to find a chair quickly and sit down. If you still feel faint, lie down on your side. Don't get up from sitting too quickly, and try to keep cool.


Heartburn

This burning sensation in your chest is caused by stomach acid flowing back up into your oesophagus. It can often be brought on by lying flat, so it can become difficult to sleep. There are a few things you can do to try and relieve it, such as sleeping propped up on plenty of pillows, drinking a glass of milk, and not eating or drinking for a couple of hours before bedtime. If the heartburn is really bad , you can take antacid tablets - but check with your pharmacist first to make sure that they are safe to take during pregnancy.


Morning sickness

Nausea and morning sickness can be one of the most trying symptoms of pregnancy. It often comes on during the early stages of pregnancy, probably due to hormonal changes, and will usually start to subside around the twelfth to fourteenth week. To relieve the nausea and sickness:

• drink plenty of fluids,
• eat small amounts often,
• get lots of rest,
• try eating a biscuit or dry toast shortly before you get up in the morning,
• keep away from the smells that make you feel poorly,
• try ginger biscuits or tea, and
• wear comfortable clothes.

If the vomiting is constant and you cannot keep anything down, contact your GP or midwife straight away.


Piles

Piles (or haemorrhoids) are swollen veins around your back passage. They can sometimes bleed a little, feel itchy or sore, and can make passing stools very uncomfortable. They usually disappear after you give birth. To relieve the discomfort you should eat high-fibre foods such as wholemeal bread, fruit and vegetables, and drink plenty of water to help keep your stools regular and soft. Ask your GP, midwife or pharmacist about suitable ointments.


Swollen ankles, feet and fingers

This can happen during pregnancy because your body holds more water than usual, and by the end of the day, this water tends to gather in the lower parts of your body. Rest and put your feet up when you can, ideally with your feet higher than your heart for one hour every day. Wear comfortable shoes, and avoid standing up for long periods.


Tiredness

It is common to feel very tired during the first months of pregnancy, and at the end of your pregnancy. The only treatment is to rest as much as possible, and ask friends, family and colleagues to help out whenever possible.

The symptoms you should never ignore during pregnancy are:

• not feeling 'right',
• frequent fainting,
• fever,
• severe pain in your abdomen,
• swelling in your face, hands and eyes,
• visual disturbances,
• severe headache,
• sudden, noticeable, unexplained weight gain,
• vaginal bleeding,
• severe vomiting,
• painful urination,
• sudden increase in thirst with little or no urination, ,
• no movement from the baby for more than 24 hours, after week 22,
• severe itching all over, or
• a blow to, or fall on your stomach.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, or have any concerns, contact your GP or midwife, or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.


Is it normal to have vaginal discharge during pregnancy?

All women have some vaginal discharge starting a year or two before puberty and ending after the menopause. How much discharge you have changes from time to time and usually gets heavier just before your period. Normal discharge is clear, white or creamy and may smell musky but not unpleasant.

Most women find that vaginal discharge increases when they are pregnant - this is quite normal and happens for a few reasons. During pregnancy the cervix (neck of the womb) and vaginal walls get softer and discharge increases to help prevent any infections travelling up from the vagina to the womb.

Towards the end of pregnancy, the baby's head pressing on the cervix can cause discharge. This can sometimes be quite heavy, and may feel as though you've accidentally passed urine.

In the last week or so of pregnancy, your discharge may contain streaks of thick mucus and some blood. This is called a 'show' and happens when the cervical plug (a 'ball' of thick mucus that fills the cervix during pregnancy) comes away. It's a sign that the body is starting to prepare for birth, and you may have a few small 'shows' in the days before you go into labour.

Increased discharge is a normal part of pregnancy, but it's important to keep an eye on it and tell your doctor or midwife if you think it smells or looks unusual, or you have pain, itching or soreness in the vaginal area. You may have an infection such as thrush, which can be easily treated.

If you have any bleeding from your vagina, you should contact your midwife or doctor. Some women lose a small amount of blood during pregnancy, and this is usually nothing to worry about. However, it can sometimes be a sign of a more serious problem such as a miscarriage or a problem with the placenta.

BLEEDING IN PREGNANCY

Eeyore

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Tuesday, June 3rd 2008, 11:23am

More serious conditions in pregnancy

During pregnancy, some women experience more serious problems than the very common, yet still unpleasant 'side effects'.

Getting medical treatment as soon as possible is the best way to avoid harm to you or your baby, so if you think you may have any of the symptoms described below, make sure that you contact your GP or midwife as soon as possible.


High blood pressure

You will have your blood pressure checked at every antenatal appointment so that your midwife will know straight away if your blood pressure becomes high. This can be an early sign of pre-eclampsia, so it is very important to have these checks done regularly. Pre-eclampsia often has no other symptoms, although some women experience headaches, swelling in the ankles and wrists, visual disturbances, and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pre-eclampsia can develop into eclampsia, which can be life-threatening for you and your baby, so always contact your GP or midwife straight away if you have any of the symptoms.

If you are diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, you may be required to have complete bed-rest, sometimes in hospital so that you can be monitored. You may also be given medication to lower your blood pressure. In some cases, it is necessary to deliver the baby early. Pre-eclampsia will only go completely when the baby is born.


Vaginal bleeding

Bleeding from the vagina during pregnancy can be a danger sign, so it is always advisable to contact your GP or midwife straight away. Some causes of bleeding are more serious than others, so it is a good idea to find out straight away.

In the early stages of pregnancy, bleeding may be a sign of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, however that is not always the case. A lot of women who experience bleeding, do go on to have successful pregnancies. Bleeding can be due to the placenta implanting in the lower part of the uterus (placenta praevia) or the placenta beginning to come away from the uterus (placental abruption). It can also occur when you have a vaginal infection. In later pregnancy, you may have a 'show' which is a mixture of a small amount of blood mixed with mucus. It is a sign that your cervix is getting ready for labour.


Severe itching

Mild itching is very common in pregnancy due to the increased blood supply to your skin, and the stretching of your skin over your ever-growing bump. However, any itching which is severe should be checked by your GP or midwife as soon as possible, as it could be a sign of something more serious. Obstetric cholestasis, for example, is an uncommon condition which affects the liver, and can have serious affects on you and your baby.


Gestational diabetes

This is a temporary type of diabetes, brought on when your body doesn't produce enough insulin to deal with increased blood sugar during pregnancy.

Your urine is tested for traces of sugar throughout pregnancy, and the high blood sugar can usually be detected between 24 and 28 weeks pregnant. If you develop gestational diabetes you will be advised by your GP on how to control your blood sugar levels. If you control them carefully, the condition should not harm you, or your baby, and the condition will usually go completely after the baby is born.

The symptoms you should never ignore during pregnancy are:

• not feeling 'right',
• frequent fainting,
• fever,
• severe pain in your abdomen,
• swelling in your face, hands and eyes,
• visual disturbances,
• severe headache,
• sudden, noticeable, unexplained weight gain,
• vaginal bleeding,
• severe vomiting,
• painful urination,
• sudden increase in thirst with little or no urination,
• no movement from the baby for more than 24 hours, after week 22,
• severe itching all over, or
• a blow to, or fall on your stomach.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, or have any concerns, contact your GP or midwife, or call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47.


Which viruses can harm an unborn baby?


Although there are a number of viruses that are potentially harmful to an unborn baby, it is rare to come into contact with most of them. The majority of pregnancies are unaffected and proceed normally. Vaccination programmes, such as MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) also help to prevent the spread of some of the viruses that can harm an unborn baby.


Chickenpox

Chickenpox is caused by the varicella zoster virus. If chickenpox is caught in the first 13 weeks of pregnancy there is a very small risk (about 1%) that the baby will develop eye problems, underdeveloped limbs, or brain damage. If chickenpox is caught in weeks 13-20 of pregnancy the risk rises to about 2%.

If chickenpox is caught after 20 weeks, there does not appear to be any risk of abnormality to the baby. However, if chickenpox is caught within seven days before birth, the newborn baby may develop a severe form of chickenpox.

Most pregnant women (about 90%) are already immune to the chickenpox virus because they had the condition when they were a child.

If you are pregnant, and you develop chickenpox, or you have come into contact with someone with chickenpox, and you're not sure if you had chickenpox when you were a child, you should speak to your GP, or midwife, immediately.


Erythema infectiosum

Erythema infectiosum (also known as slapped cheek syndrome, parvovirus infection, or fifth disease) is an infection that is caused by the parvovirus B19. Research suggests that up to 60% of all adults in the UK have been infected with this virus at some point. After you have been infected, it is likely that you will develop a life-long immunity to parvovirus B19.

Most unborn babies are unaffected by exposure to parvovirus B19, but if a pregnant woman develops the infection in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy, it increases the risk of miscarriage. As well as the increased risk of miscarriage, if infection occurs in weeks 9-20 there is also a small risk that the baby will develop hydrops fetalis. This is a rare condition that can cause heart failure and anaemia and can be fatal in about half of all cases.


Measles

Measles is now rare in the UK because it is routinely vaccinated against during childhood. However, if a pregnant woman does contract the measles virus, particularly towards the end of her pregnancy, her baby will be at increased risk of being born prematurely. Measles caught earlier in the pregnancy increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth.

If you are pregnant and you develop measles, or you have come into contact with someone with measles, you should speak to your GP, or midwife, immediately.


German measles (rubella)

German measles (also called rubella) can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or birth defects, such as deafness, brain damage, heart defects, and cataracts. Like measles, rubella is now rare in the UK because it is routinely vaccinated against during childhood.

If you are pregnant and you develop rubella, or you have come into contact with someone who has rubella, you should speak to your GP, or midwife, immediately.


Colds and flu

Colds and flu viruses should not have an effect on an unborn baby, unless a secondary infection, such as pneumonia develops, affecting the health of the mother.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is caused by a virus from the herpes family of viruses. About 1 in 100 babies will catch this infection, but only 1 in 10 of these will develop any problems as a result. Potential problems can include learning difficulties, swollen liver, or spleen, jaundice, or visual impairments.


Mumps

Mumps in pregnancy is not known to cause problems for the unborn baby, but it can increase the risk of miscarriage during the first 12-16 weeks of pregnancy. Like measles, and German measles, mumps is now rare in the UK because it is routinely vaccinated against during childhood.

If you are pregnant and you develop mumps, or you have come into contact with someone who has mumps, you should speak to your GP, or midwife, immediately.


Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD)

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is an infection that is usually caused by the coxsackie A virus. There is normally no risk to the unborn baby if HFMD is caught during pregnancy. However, if the virus is caught shortly before birth, it can pass to the baby and, after birth, they may need hospital treatment to avoid developing further problems.


Human papilloma virus (HPV)

Genital warts are caused by a virus called the human papilloma virus (HPV). Genital warts can sometimes grow larger during pregnancy, making urination difficult, and sometimes causing problems during birth. In rare cases, the virus can cause the newborn baby to develop a condition called laryngeal papillomatosis, which is where warts grow inside the larynx (voice box), or throat.

Eeyore

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Thursday, July 17th 2008, 10:28am

PREGNANCY & HEALTHY EATING

The UK Department of Health Estimated Average Requirements are a daily calorie intake of 1900-2000 calories per day for women and the The American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists recommend an extra 300 calories per day per baby, making 600 calories per day extra in total if you are expecting twins.

Feeling full isn't down to the calories, it's down to what you are eating, so don't be fooled into thinking you've eaten enough calories/enough of the right food for you and babies just because you are full

http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_advice…regnantdiet.htm

Quoted


Does a pregnant woman need to eat twice as much?

It has often been said that a pregnant woman should eat for two people, but this is not true.

What is true is that during pregnancy a woman has to provide good nutrition for two individuals. The growing baby gets all its nourishment from its mother through the umbilical cord, so diet is very important. If the mother is lacking in any vitamins and nutrients her baby might lack them too.

If a woman has had trouble keeping her weight up or down before the pregnancy, she should make a nutritional plan with the help of her doctor or midwife.

How much energy does a woman need during pregnancy?

• A woman who is not pregnant needs approximately 2100 calories per day.

• A pregnant woman needs approximately 2500 calories per day.


What sort of food should pregnant women eat?

A well-balanced diet should contain something from all the food groups: dairy products, fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, eggs, fat and carbohydrates. A pregnant woman needs to eat something from all these food groups every day in order to get the proper amounts of energy.

• Approximately 10 per cent of calories should come from protein. Protein is mainly found in meat, fish, eggs, dairy products and beans.

• Approximately 35 per cent of calories should come from fat, which is mainly found in butter, oils, margarine, dairy products and nuts.

• Approximately 55 per cent of calories should come from carbohydrates, which are found in bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, corn and other grain products.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/healthy_livi…regnancy1.shtml

COW & GATE HEALTHY EATING

Quoted


Top tips for a healthy diet


• Choose a variety of foods from each of the different food groups to make sure you’re getting a good balance
• Have 3 regular meals and 2 to 3 light snacks a day
• Include generous helpings of fruits and vegetables, wholegrain cereals and beans to increase your fibre intake
• Drink water regularly – at least 8 glasses a day
• Include other drinks in your diet such as low-fat milk, fresh fruit juices and soup
• Eat one portion of oily fish and one portion of white fish each week (but avoid shark, swordfish and marlin)
• Use vegetable oils such as corn, olive and sunflower oil in your cooking, but use them sparingly
• Limit your intake of processed and preserved foods as they usually contain high levels of salt
• Reduce your caffeine intake to no more than 3 mugs of coffee or 6 cups of tea a day
• Limit your intake of sweets, crisps, cakes, biscuits, fats, oils, and sugar. These all provide extra calories but not much of the nutritional value that you and your baby need. Over-indulging now means it will be harder to regain your pre-pregnancy figure afterwards, so try to resist dipping into the biscuit tin too often
• Ask your midwife or doctor about extra supplements if you’re worried you’re not eating from a particular food group

Key nutrients during pregnancy

Certain nutrients play particularly important roles in your baby’s development during pregnancy. To find out more about each one, simply click on the nutrients you are interested in:

Vitamins and nutrients you need during pregnancy:

Folic acid
Iron and Vitamin C
Omega fats
Prenatal vitamin supplement

Vitamins to avoid during pregnancy:

Vitamin A

Folic acid
Folic acid helps reduce the risk of birth defects such as spina bifida. The most important time to take it is from a few months before you conceive until the end of your first trimester (12 weeks). During this period, it’s important that you are eating a healthy balanced diet as well as taking a folic acid supplement. You can also include folate-rich foods in your diet such as green vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, beans, and peas; and fruits such as oranges.

Iron and Vitamin C
Iron is one of the key nutrients you need throughout pregnancy – it’s important for carrying extra oxygen around in your red blood cells and your baby needs it for their developing brain.

If you don’t have enough iron, you’ll run the risk of becoming anaemic, which will leave you feeling tired, washed-out and generally unwell. So make sure you have plenty of iron-rich foods in your diet such as red meat, fish, eggs, dried fruit, wholegrain breakfast cereals and breads, and green leafy vegetables. Your midwife may also recommend an iron supplement.

Iron is best absorbed by your body if you also eat some fruit or vegetables rich in Vitamin C at the same time, so have a glass of fruit juice with your cereal or have some fresh fruit as a starter to your main course.

Floradix liquid iron formula

http://www.healthcheckpharmacy.com/shop/…p?productid=604

Quoted

Provides Nutritional Iron, A Mineral Required For Maintaining Fitness And Health. Floradix is a nutritious Food Supplement which provides organic iron, extracts of carefully selected herbs, delicious fruits, vitamins, specially cultured yeast and ocean kelp. In addition, it contains extracts of wheat germ and rosehips. Iron is an essential dietary fact. Floradix has absorbable iron in the form of a yeast extract food supplement. In addition, it contains B vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine and vitamin B12 in a readily available and absorbable form, Floradix offers nutrients required for growth and maintaining fitness and health. Floradix is especially suitable for women (including expectant and nursing mothers), men, growing children and persons whose diet is lacking in natural iron and vitamins. Nutrition information: Typically per 100 ml per 10 ml: Energy 419.5 kj (101.2 kcal) 41.95 kj (10.12 kcal). Protein 0.20 g 0.02 g, Carbohydrate 24.5 g 2.45 g. Fat <1 g <0.1 g. Per 100 ml %RDA * per 100 ml per 10 ml %RDA* per 10 ml: Vitamin C 100 mg 167 10.0 mg 17.Thiamin 8 mg 571 0.8 mg 57.


Omega fats
Getting enough omega 3 fatty acids during pregnancy is important, as they will help your baby’s nervous system to develop healthily, as well as help prevent you from getting heart disease. Some omega fats are important for the development of your baby’s brain and nervous system.

Oily fish like sardines, mackerel and salmon are all rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids but you shouldn’t have more than two portions a week, as the fish can also contain mercury, high levels of which can be harmful for your baby. Alternative sources of omega 3 are seeds such as pumpkin and flax – you’ll need about two tablespoons a day – or you can always have a pregnancy-friendly supplement instead

Prenatal vitamin supplement
You could opt for just one multivitamin supplement specially made for women trying to conceive or who are pregnant. It’ll help you get the right balance of nutrients recommended for a healthy pregnancy, including folic acid and iron.

But make sure you choose a supplement made for use during conception and pregnancy and not a regular multivitamin, as these can contain potentially high levels of the vitamins you should be avoiding.

Vitamin A
Foods such as pâté and liver sausage, are good sources of iron but they can also contain very high concentrations of Vitamin A which can harm your baby if consumed in high amounts.

The Department of Health recommends that pregnant women should avoid liver and liver products.You should also be aware that some vitamin supplements are high in this vitamin, so always choose a safe pregnancy supplement. Your midwife will be able to help you with this.

However, there is a form of Vitamin A, known as beta-carotene, which is fine for pregnant women to have. Beta-carotene can be found in red, yellow and orange peppers, mangoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, apricots, tomatoes and watercress.


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Saturday, July 11th 2009, 7:04am

** SWINE FLU - NHS ADVICE FOR PREGNANCY/CHILDREN **

NHS - Advice for pregnant women

If you are pregnant, you are in one of the high-risk groups for swine flu, so it is important you read this page carefully and follow the advice to protect yourself and your baby.

This info explains why pregnant women are at greater risk from swine flu, what those risks are, the special precautions you should take and the safety information for swine flu treatments.

Why pregnant women are more at risk
In pregnancy, the immune system is naturally supressed. This means that pregnant women are more likely to catch swine flu, and if they do catch it, they are more likely to develop complications

However, it is important not to panic: your immune system still functions and the risk of complications is still very small. The majority of pregnant women will only suffer mild symptoms.

Symptoms and risks

If you are pregnant and you catch swine flu, the symptoms are expected to be similar to those of regular human seasonal flu. Typical symptoms are fever and a cough, and sometimes also tiredness, headache, aching muscles, runny nose, sore throat, nausea or diarrhoea.

Most pregnant women will have only mild symptoms and recover within a week. However, there is evidence from previous flu pandemics that pregnant women are more likely to develop complications from flu.

Possible complications are pneumonia (an infection of the lungs), difficulty breathing and dehydration. In pregnant women, these are more likely to happen in the second and third trimester.

If a pregnant woman develops a complication of swine flu, such as pneumonia, there is a small chance this will lead to premature labour or miscarriage. There is not yet enough information to know precisely how likely these birth risks are.

It is therefore important to be well prepared and to take precautions against swine flu.

Special precautions
If you are pregnant, you can reduce your risk of infection by avoiding unnecessary travel and avoiding crowds where possible.

Pregnant women should also follow the NHS general advice;

You can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading swine flu by:
[list]
• Always covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
• Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
• Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and warm water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face, or to other people.
• Cleaning hard surfaces, such as door handles, frequently using a normal cleaning product [/list]

If a family member or other close contact has swine flu, your doctor may prescribe you antiviral medication (usually Relenza) as a preventative (prophylactic) measure.

If you think that you may have swine flu, check your symptoms online If you are still concerned, call your doctor for an assessment immediately. If your doctor confirms swine flu over the phone, you will be prescribed antiviral medication to take as soon as possible.

Unless you have swine flu symptoms, carry on attending your antenatal appointments so you can monitor the progress of your pregnancy.



Q & A

Are pregnant women more likely to catch swine flu?
Yes. Pregnant women are more susceptible to all infections, because their immune system is naturally suppressed in pregnancy. They are especially vulnerable to swine flu, as this virus is affecting younger age groups in particular.

Does swine flu pose special risks in pregnant women?
Pregnant women have an increased risk of complications from any type of flu, because their immune system is naturally supressed in pregnancy. Possible complications are pneumonia (an infection of the lungs), difficulty breathing and dehydration, which are more likely to happen in the second and third trimester.

There is a small chance that these complications will lead to premature labour or miscarriage. There is not yet enough information to know precisely how likely these birth risks are.

It is important to note that most pregnant women will only have mild symptoms and recover within a week.

What special precautions can pregnant women take?
If you are pregnant, you can reduce your risk of infection by avoiding unnecessary travel and avoiding crowds where possible. Pregnant women should also follow the general hygiene advice (see What can I do?).

If a family member or other close contact has swine flu, your doctor may prescribe you antiviral medication (usually Relenza) as a preventative (prophylactic) measure.

If you think that you may have swine flu, check your symptoms online. If you are still concerned, call your doctor for an assessment immediately (see What should I do if I think I’m infected). If your doctor confirms swine flu over the phone, you will be prescribed antiviral medication to take as soon as possible.

Unless you have swine flu symptoms, carry on attending your antenatal appointments so you can monitor the progress of your pregnancy.

Can I take antiviral drugs if I am pregnant?
Yes, on the advice of a doctor. The Department of Health has purchased Relenza, an inhaled antiviral drug that treats flu without reaching the developing fetus. Relenza should not affect your pregnancy or your growing baby.

However, if your doctor or midwifery specialist thinks that a different medicine is needed (for instance, if you have unusually severe flu), you will be given Tamiflu instead.

An expert group reviewed the risk of antiviral treatment in pregnancy, which is extremely small - much smaller than the risk posed by the symptoms of swine flu.

What are the possible side effects of Relenza?
Some people have had wheezing or serious breathing problems when they have used Relenza. Relenza is therefore not recommended for people with asthma or COPD. Other possible side effects include headaches, diarrhoea, nausea and vomiting.

If you take an antiviral and have side effects, see your healthcare professional to check that you are ok. Then report your suspected drug reaction to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) via their new new ONLINE SYSTEM (link)

Can I take flu remedies or painkillers if I am pregnant?
You can take paracetamol-base cold remedies to reduce fever and other symptoms. Paracetamol is safe to take in pregnancy.

However, pregnant women should not take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Nurofen).

Will pregnant women get preference for a swine flu vaccine?
It will be the end of August before a swine flu vaccine becomes available. When it is available, there will be guidelines on which groups of people are a greater priority for vaccination

Should I stop breastfeeding if I need to take antiviral drugs?
Women who are breastfeeding should continue to do so while receiving antiviral treatment, as this is not contraindicated. If a mother is ill, she should continue breastfeeding and increase feeding frequency. If she becomes too ill to feed, then expressing milk may still be possible. Antiviral drugs are excreted into breast milk in very small (insignificant) amounts.

Can children take antivirals?
Yes, on the advice of a doctor. Tamiflu is safe for infants aged one and older, at a reduced dose. Relenza (an inhaler) can be used by children aged five and older under the supervision of an adult.

Can babies under the age of one take antivirals?

Tamiflu and Relenza are not licensed for use in babies under the age of one. However, after evaluating all the available evidence, the European Medicines Agency has advised that children under one may be treated with Tamiflu, considering that:

[list]
• the appropriate dosage to treat children aged under one is 2-3mg/kg twice daily for five days,
• children are preferably treated under medical supervision, and
• dilution of the capsule content can be used to prepare the dose. [/list]
Post-exposure prophylaxis (prevention) of children aged under one should be very carefully considered. The appropriate dose for prevention should be 2-3mg/kg once a day for 10 days (but should not exceed 10 days).


What can I do?
You can reduce, but not eliminate, the risk of catching or spreading swine flu by:
[list]
• Always covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
• Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
• Maintaining good basic hygiene, for example washing hands frequently with soap and warm water to reduce the spread of the virus from your hands to face, or to other people.
• Cleaning hard surfaces, such as door handles, frequently using a normal cleaning product. [/list]

What should I do if I think I’m infected?
If you have flu-like symptoms, check your symptoms with this TOOL (links to external site).

If you are still concerned, stay at home and call your GP, who will be able to provide a diagnosis over the phone. If swine flu is confirmed, ask a healthy relative or friend to visit your GP to pick up a document entitling you to antiviral medication.

They will then need to pick the medication up at a collection point your GP will advise on (a local pharmacy or similar).

In the meantime, take paracetamol-based cold remedies to reduce fever and other symptoms, drink plenty of fluids and get lots of rest.

Do not go into your GP surgery, or to a hospital, as you may spread the disease to others.

If I have been in close contact with an infected person, do I need treatment?
You only need antiviral treatment if you have been diagnosed with swine flu and your doctor decides it is necessary, or if a doctor decides that you are at serious risk of developing severe illness

The government is no longer trying to contain the virus because it is now widespread in the UK. It is not effective to give antivirals to people who are not ill, as they will be repeatedly exposed to the virus in the community.

Is swine flu treatable?
Testing has shown that the swine flu can be treated with the antiviral medicines oseltamavir (brand name Tamiflu) and zanamivir (Relenza). However, the drugs must be administered at an early stage to be effective.




FERTILITYZONE



MEDHURST – PROUD HOSTS OF FERTILITYZONE