When you find out you’re pregnant, your thoughts and emotions may go into overdrive. You might be as excited about this new person you will bring into the world as you are terrified that something may go wrong especially health wise. Unfortunately, pregnant women do not just have to deal with morning sicknesses, backaches, swollen ankles cravings or fatigues but also immune-compromised illness.

Most pregnancies progress without any incidents. But approximately 8 percent of all pregnancies involve complications that, if left untreated, may harm the mother or the baby. While some complications relate to health problems that existed before pregnancy, others occur unexpectedly and are unavoidable.

In most cases, prevention of disease in pregnant women is the ideal. Some of the ways to prevent opportunistic diseases include;

  1. Eat a balanced diet.

Make sure that you have meals reach in fruit, vegetables, protein, iron and low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.

  1. Stay hydrated.

Drink plenty of fluids especially pure water. We recommend at least 3 liters of boiled water daily.

  1. Get plenty of rest/sleep

Having a sound sleep of up to 8 hours daily, helps boost your immunity. During sleep, the body produces cytokines that play a big role in the recovery process.

  1. Manage stress and seek social support.

Research relates high stress levels to a weakened immunity. Always seek social support or engage in activities that keep your mind busy especially your hobbies.

  1. Sleep under a treated mosquito net to avoid mosquito bites.
  2. Deworm routinely to avoid parasitic infections.

However, in most cases even with the measures to control illnesses, pregnant mothers still get sick. Some of the commonest illnesses in pregnancy include;

  1. Malaria
  2. Bacterial vaginitis
  3. Pregnancy related hypertension
  4. Gestational diabetes.

Different medicines that treat these are safe in different trimesters whereas others are not safe throughout pregnancy. Some of the medicines that increase the chances of birth defects include;

  • Bismuth Subsalicylate
  • Phenylephrine
  • Psuedoephedrine
  • Guanfensin
  • Painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen.
  • Isotretinion

However there are some medicines that are safe in pregnancy, these include;

  • Penecillin anti-biotics.
  • HIV medications.
  • Some allergy medications like loratadine and Benadryl.
  • Some anti-hypertensives.
  • Most asthma medication.
  • Prenatal supplements

In these unlucky times, before prescribing any medicine, your doctor or pharmacist will look at whether the risk of taking medicines is higher than the risk of not taking them for your illness. The risk benefit ratio counts!

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