Pregnancy has its ups and downs, and different women experience different types of problems.
One common problem during pregnancy is urinary tract infections (UTIs), also known as bladder infections. This type of infection occurs when bacteria causes the urinary tract to become inflamed.
The problem usually starts after the sixth week of pregnancy, occurring as the growing baby puts more pressure on the bladder. The increasing pressure prevents the bladder from emptying completely, which leads to bacteria getting trapped in the urinary tract and ultimately causing an infection.
Apart from the physical changes in your body, several factors can lead to a UTI during pregnancy. Such factors include bacteria from the bowel, intercourse, a history of recurring UTIs, maternal diabetes, sickle cell disease, kidney disease, and previous urinary tract surgery.
When suffering from a UTI during pregnancy, you can experience symptoms like a burning sensation during urination, frequent trips to the bathroom to urinate, an intense urge to urinate while the amount of urine expelled is small, cloudy and smelly urine, a low-grade fever, lower-abdominal pain or discomfort, and nausea, and vomiting.
It is important to treat a UTI right away. An untreated infection could turn into a kidney infection, triggering preterm labor and causing your baby to have a low birth weight.
Most UTIs during pregnancy are treated with a course of antibiotics that are pregnancy-safe but still effective in killing the bacteria.
Apart from antibiotics, there are many things you can do to help treat the infection and ensure a safe pregnancy.
Here are the top 10 ways to treat a urinary tract infection during pregnancy.
When suffering from a UTI, it is important to drink enough water every day. Water intake will make you urinate more. The increase in bathroom visits helps flush bacteria out of the urethra, which helps you recover faster.
Drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day, or more if you sweat a lot or live in a hot climate.
Apart from water, drinking fresh fruit and vegetable juices as well as eating fruits and vegetables with high water content will help keep the body hydrated and increase urination.
2. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is useful for getting rid of many pregnancy-related problems, including a UTI. It is a rich source of enzymes that can prevent the bacteria that cause UTIs from multiplying or growing.
Plus, apple cider vinegar can regulate your body’s pH balance.
- Add 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar to a glass of water.
- Optionally, add lemon juice and sweeten it with a little honey.
- Mix it well.
- Drink this twice a day for a few days.
3. Cranberry Juice
During pregnancy, you can drink pure cranberry juice with no added sugar to prevent UTIs.
There are several compounds in cranberries that prevent bacteria from adhering to the urinary tract, thus preventing an infection.
- Mix together equal amounts of unsweetened cranberry juice and apple juice. Drink it once or twice daily.
- If you wish to take cranberry pills or capsules, consult your doctor first.
4. Greek Yogurt
When suffering from a UTI during pregnancy, you must try to eat 1 to 2 cups of Greek yogurt daily.
Being a probiotic food, Greek yogurt can boost the growth of good bacteria in the urinary tract and promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut.
Also, eating Greek yogurt helps improve your digestive health and enhance your immune system functioning.
5. Indian Gooseberry
Indian gooseberry, also known as amla, is a rich source of vitamin C and inhibits the growth of harmful bacteria that cause UTIs.
Also, Indian gooseberry offers other benefits during pregnancy. It helps relieve constipation, normalize your blood pressure, reduce morning sickness, and purify your blood, to name a few.
- Add 1 teaspoon each of Indian gooseberry and turmeric powder to 1 cup of water.
- Boil the solution until half the water evaporates.
- Allow it to cool for some time.
- Drink the solution 3 times a day for 3 to 5 days.
Blueberries have bacteria-inhibiting properties that can help treat a UTI during pregnancy.
Blueberries are also filled with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, folic acid, and antioxidants, all of which help build your baby’s healthy skin cells and immune system.
- Add fresh blueberries to your favorite cereal and have it for breakfast.
- Also, drink a glass of fresh blueberry juice twice daily, in the morning and at night, for quick results.