What to do if you're pregnant and you get sick with the flu

by Jo Francks, MH

We are getting a lot of calls about this topic - what to do if you're pregnant and get sick with the flu. Drug companies, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others are targeting pregnant women and children for the swine flu shot.

Our students would rather avoid the flu shot and want to know what is safe and effective for the flu when pregnant. What I see happening is that pregnant women are hesitant to take anything because of the warnings on products and from doctors that virtually nothing is safe to take during pregnancy (So why would they give a swine flu shot that hasn't had sufficient testing to a pregnant woman?).

Of course, prevention is the key, but when you feel like something is coming on Echinacea can be taken in dosages of 2 capsules or 1-2 dopperfuls every hour. Nip it in the bud before it gets bad. Garlic and cayenne can be taken during pregnancy. Garlic is the number one herb for flu. It can be eaten raw, blended in juice, mixed with honey and cayenne or taken in capsules. 6 cloves of garlic is the daily recommended dosage.

We encourage women to drink red raspberry leaf tea all through their pregnancy to help the baby and for an easy delivery. We also recommend red raspberry leaf tea to be consumed in large quantities if a person is sick or around sick people. We don't encourage fasting during pregnancy, but do eliminate processed foods, dairy, meat, and sweets.

Eat whole foods like fresh juice, fresh fruits and vegetables and potassium broth (see recipe below). Sweat baths are not recommended, but a foot soak in ginger tea is helpful while drinking red raspberry leaf tea or peppermint or calendula or a mixture of all three.

We don't recommend enemas or harsh laxatives or emmenagogue herbs during pregnancy. Prune juice would be better to use than a laxative to help the bowels eliminate. Plenty of rest is a must!

Some formulas that would be okay to use during pregnancy would be Immucalm, Sinus Plus and the Lung and Bronchial Formula. Some individual herbs that are fine to use during pregnancy are red raspberry leaf, yarrow, elder berries, Echinacea, garlic, rose hips, ginger, plantain, cayenne and cloves.

Emmenagogues are herbs which stimulate blood flow in the pelvic area and uterus; some stimulate menstruation. Women have used plants such as mugwort, parsley and ginger to prevent or terminate early pregnancy.