Being sick and LABOR- The ramifications and how to AVOID IT - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 09-08-2008, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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This is similarly posted in I'm Pregnant.

Have any of you ever been sick going into labor? It didn't occur to me until just now but I realized something-

The time of year I will be giving birth is pretty much the worst time I could be giving birth in terms of my immune system.

Every year for as long as I can remember, I get sick on or around Halloween. It's so clockwork that my mother even jokes that bad spirits must come to visit me.

Well my due date is the 27th of October. Even if I go overdue (which I will, believe me) that's still within the timeframe of me getting that nasty cold which usually turns into pneumonia.

I'm really contemplating taking Air Borne (despite the no no's of pregnancy) if I start to feel symptoms around then because the last thing I want is to be SICK giving birth, especially since I've been working so hard through my last traumatic birth and doing heavy research this past year on how to have a GREAT natural birth.

If you have been sick (being if it's unavoidable in my case), tell me how you handled it- did it make it that much harder for you? Was the pain that much greater?

These are things I am now worrying about. :

-Caitrin

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#2 of 11 Old 09-08-2008, 11:56 AM
 
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Honestly, I think whatever symptoms you have from being sick would totally fall by the wayside during labor, unless you were just deathly ill. But it depends on how intense your labor pains are. Mine overshadowed everything else, so I wouldn't have even noticed if I'd had a little cold.

I wouldn't take Airborne, but if you start feeling a cold coming on, I would take Zicam and drink lots of orange juice. There's a lot of Vitamin A in Airborne, and not in beta carotene form. I don't know about the extreme Vitamin C but I'd avoid it for the Vitamin A alone, honestly.

And if I were in your shoes, I'd start some positive affirmations and be sure to wash my hands a LOT (no antibac gunk though -- that kills off the good bacteria too). And look into Hypnobabies perhaps, to reinforce that positive mindset.

Good luck!

SAHM to Guinevere (04/05/06) and Eowyn (02/13/09)
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#3 of 11 Old 09-08-2008, 04:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by nighten View Post
Honestly, I think whatever symptoms you have from being sick would totally fall by the wayside during labor, unless you were just deathly ill. But it depends on how intense your labor pains are. Mine overshadowed everything else, so I wouldn't have even noticed if I'd had a little cold.

I wouldn't take Airborne, but if you start feeling a cold coming on, I would take Zicam and drink lots of orange juice. There's a lot of Vitamin A in Airborne, and not in beta carotene form. I don't know about the extreme Vitamin C but I'd avoid it for the Vitamin A alone, honestly.

And if I were in your shoes, I'd start some positive affirmations and be sure to wash my hands a LOT (no antibac gunk though -- that kills off the good bacteria too). And look into Hypnobabies perhaps, to reinforce that positive mindset.

Good luck!
Thank you so much for your response, nighten!

And great advice. I think I am agreeing more and more about not taking Airborne. I've been doing some online research and such and it just doesn't look worth it in pregnancy, although I have to admit it makes me sad because I love Airborne- it has worked so well for me in the past.

It just means I will need to venture out there and find something that works for me. Will have to check out Zicam.

How much vitamin C can I safely take during pregnancy, by the way? Does anyone know?

Thanks again for the response and here's to hopefully finding better alternatives than Airborne...

-Caitrin

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#4 of 11 Old 09-08-2008, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just talked to my mother on the phone.

She was telling me that she never went into labor if she was sick and if she got sick around her due date, her body naturally waited until she was better.

Wow- is this common among women? If so, I hope this is the case for me!

-Caitrin

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#5 of 11 Old 09-08-2008, 10:29 PM
 
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I had a stomach virus with a ton of vomiting. The vomiting and dehyrdation triggered contractions for me which couldn't be controlled even with medication. After a bunch of complications (including pulmonary edema), and 4 days, my water broke and I gave birth to my dd at 33 weeks. Fortunately by then the vomiting had stopped but I was exhausted and weak from lack of sleep and all the other stuff going on. Labor was completely miserable and despite my plan for natural childbirth ended up very quickly asking for pain medication.

So it is possible to go into labor while ill, and it can change the circumstances surrounding your birth if you are sick enough. I would tend to strongly agree with the pp that unless you are really very ill, you probably will be so focused on the labor that you won't notice the sickness.

If you do find yourself staring to get sick, find out ways that you can help prevent a secondary infection like pneumonia. Maybe there is an expectorant it would be safe to take? Increase your fluid consumption, sleep with your head elevated, use a humidifier/steamer, etc. to help get rid of congestion.

Hopefully you'll sail right through cold season without even a little bump this year and your labor will go wonderfully!
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#6 of 11 Old 09-09-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Lousli View Post
I had a stomach virus with a ton of vomiting. The vomiting and dehyrdation triggered contractions for me which couldn't be controlled even with medication. After a bunch of complications (including pulmonary edema), and 4 days, my water broke and I gave birth to my dd at 33 weeks. Fortunately by then the vomiting had stopped but I was exhausted and weak from lack of sleep and all the other stuff going on. Labor was completely miserable and despite my plan for natural childbirth ended up very quickly asking for pain medication.

So it is possible to go into labor while ill, and it can change the circumstances surrounding your birth if you are sick enough. I would tend to strongly agree with the pp that unless you are really very ill, you probably will be so focused on the labor that you won't notice the sickness.

If you do find yourself staring to get sick, find out ways that you can help prevent a secondary infection like pneumonia. Maybe there is an expectorant it would be safe to take? Increase your fluid consumption, sleep with your head elevated, use a humidifier/steamer, etc. to help get rid of congestion.

Hopefully you'll sail right through cold season without even a little bump this year and your labor will go wonderfully!
Hmm interesting.

Anyone else have anything to add in their experience with getting sick before labor? Did your body ward it off beforehand or did you remain sick through it?

Ugh- it DOES sound exhausting to go into labor having had the stomach virus for all those days before...Poor you! Hopefully your recovery time was good though.

-Caitrin

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#7 of 11 Old 09-09-2008, 01:08 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Celticqueen View Post
Ugh- it DOES sound exhausting to go into labor having had the stomach virus for all those days before...Poor you! Hopefully your recovery time was good though.
Well, recovery wasn't great either, but that is a whole different story. The complications I had from the medications had a lot to do with that. I was pretty much over the stomach thing by the 4th day in the hospital.
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#8 of 11 Old 09-09-2008, 01:19 AM
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I had a terrible sinus infection at the end of my second pregnancy. It was clearly bacterial, and causing serious sinus pain, so I went on antibiotics to clear it up. I needed Sudafed to breathe. DD2 was born at 38 weeks, two days into the course of antibiotics. I still needed Sudafed.

It didn't bother me much in labor. One of the nurses suggested that the meds might be slowing labor down, but my labor wasn't really slow. It was 10 hours from SROM to delivery, and less than 2 hours from the onset of regular contractions to delivery. I don't remember feeling stuffed-up in labor, though when I called my dad thirty minutes after the birth and said "Guess what I've got?" he answered, "A terrible cold!"

I would recommend working oregano and garlic into your diet, as well as washing your hands and being proactive about treating bacterial infections.
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#9 of 11 Old 09-09-2008, 01:34 AM
 
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During both of my pregnancies, it seems I developed cough-variant asthma at week 38. The second time, I was coughing so hard, it felt like I had broken ribs. I had trouble moving around and trouble breathing. I had to get into the hot shower just to be able to take deep breaths. Needless to say, I was very nervous about my ability to endure labor and delivery. I passed my due date and some days I was grateful I didn't go into labor because I was in too much pain already. It really seemed to me that my body was waiting for the pain to subside before beginning labor. I finally began labor at 41 weeks and it turned out I was feeling much better that day - the ribs were barely an issue until after delivery. I don't know if I had healed enough for my body to let me go into labor, or if the labor just distracted me or actually reduced the pain, but my point is, it all worked out. Somehow my body knew the right time. I think it will work out for you too. Take the regular precautions to avoid getting sick like washing hands often and avoiding large crowds of people. Maybe this will be your lucky year and you'll avoid your autumn illness!
Best of luck and good health to you.
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#10 of 11 Old 09-09-2008, 03:45 AM
 
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I went into labor at 39w3d with a horrible sinus infection. In the days before, the headache was so bad that I had called out sick from work because it hurt too much to even pick my head up off the pillow. I finally went to the doctor to get some abx and that night my water broke. For some reason, the second my water broke, my headache and stuffiness went away and never came back, and I gave birth to dd2 the following evening. I had only taken my second dose of abx so I know that wasn't what did it.

So weird!
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#11 of 11 Old 09-09-2008, 05:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by honeydee View Post
I went into labor at 39w3d with a horrible sinus infection. In the days before, the headache was so bad that I had called out sick from work because it hurt too much to even pick my head up off the pillow. I finally went to the doctor to get some abx and that night my water broke. For some reason, the second my water broke, my headache and stuffiness went away and never came back, and I gave birth to dd2 the following evening. I had only taken my second dose of abx so I know that wasn't what did it.

So weird!
Wow! That is amazing

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