What can you take for a cold while pregnant?
Pregnancy is a unique period where extra care and caution are required to protect the fetus you are carrying. Catching a cold or flu during pregnancy can always be severe because it may last three times longer. Pregnant women are more susceptible to the complications of a cold, such as pneumonia. However, a cold doesn’t harm the fetus. There are many ways to avoid colds and have a healthy pregnancy. You may take over-the-counter (OTC) treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include
Always be cautious about using these medications during the first trimester because this is the most crucial phase of fetal development. Always check with your physician before taking any type of medication. Antibiotics are not required in most cases. They must always be taken after talking to your doctor.
Some of the natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy include
- Getting plenty of bed rest
- Drinking plenty of fluids such as water or juice
- Putting an air humidifier in your room to provide extra moisture in case of congestion
- Increasing the intake of vitamin C-rich foods, such as oranges, strawberries, kiwis, melon, mangoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, papaya, red cabbage and spinach
- Having adequate zinc intake by consuming foods such as cooked oysters, beef, pork, turkey, eggs, yogurt and oatmeal
- Drinking warm beverages such as chicken soup or ginger tea to provide a soothing effect
- Elevating your head using a pillow while sleeping to combat breathing difficulties
- Using OTC nasal strips to open your nasal passages
- Drinking warm water with two to three teaspoons of honey mixed in to curb dry cough that may occur after having a cold
- Taking prenatal vitamins and zinc may help increase your resistance to combat a cold or flu
- Making sure to eat a healthy diet even when you don’t have much of an appetite
- Gargling with warm salt water
How can you prevent catching a cold during pregnancy?
Colds cannot be prevented entirely. However, the following tips may help
- Avoid close contact with people who have a cold.
- Wash your hands for 20 seconds every few hours.
- Use a clean towel to dry your hands.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your nose and eyes to prevent infection.
- Sneeze or cough into your upper shirt sleeve.
- Always wear a mask while stepping out, especially during COVID-19 times.
- Use a hand sanitizer with 60 percent alcohol if hand washing is not available.
- Avoid going outdoors unless it is necessary.
What medications should you avoid for a cold during pregnancy?
Some medications, which are otherwise safe to treat a cold, may not be suitable to be taken during pregnancy. They include
- Ibuprofen and aspirin are analgesics that may result in low birth weight and preterm delivery. These medicines should be avoided in the last trimester as well.
- Some studies have stated that decongestants such as pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are associated with fetal birth defects, whereas other studies have refuted this claim. However, these should be avoided in the first trimester and their dose should also be limited.
- Codeine-containing cough syrups and products containing alcohol are a strict no-no.
- Never take echinacea or other herbal remedies during pregnancy without seeking approval from the physician.
- Most antibiotics are not safe in pregnancy. In case you need them, take them only as directed by the doctor.
Always try to take medicines formulated for your specific symptoms and avoid multi-symptom formulas.
When to see a doctor
Consult your doctor immediately if you have
Canadian Family Physician
American Lung Association
Top What Can You Take for a Cold While Pregnant Related Articles
Can I Get Any STDs Through Clothing?Most sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) cannot be transmitted through clothing. Some such as pubic lice, scabies and molluscum contagiosum can be transmitted by sharing clothes with an infected person.
Cold, Fever and Flu Symptoms in Children: Medications and Home RemediesHow long does a cold last? How long is a cold contagious? Colds and fevers are some of the most common ailments in children. Learn common cold symptoms, treatment options, over the counter (OTC) medicines for cold and fever, home remedies, and how to relieve a sore throat.
Cold & Flu QuizAches? Pain? Fever? This Cold & Flu Quiz tests your knowledge on the difference between coming down with the common cold and sickness from influenza virus.
Cold and Flu: Finding Fast Cough ReliefRemedies for coughing to relieve symptoms, thin mucus, and clear phlegm include cough syrup and honey in hot water. Use suppressants to treat a dry cough. See a doctor when home remedies are not enough. Bronchitis or another condition may be to blame.
Common ColdThe common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms include a stuffy nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and maybe a fever. Antibiotics have no effect upon the common cold, and there is no evidence that zinc and vitamin C are effective treatments.
Common Cold: Early Signs and 4 StagesThe common cold or viral rhinitis is an upper respiratory infection caused by several types of viruses. It is one of the most common infectious diseases affecting humans. A common cold may typically follow a certain pattern of progression that has four different stages.
Foods for the FluThe best foods to eat when you have the flu soothe symptoms and help you feel better faster. Good foods to eat with the flu include popsicles, turkey, vegetable juice, chicken soup, garlic, ginger, hot tea, bananas, toast, meal replacement drinks, oranges, pumpkin seeds, and carrots.
How Can I Get Rid of a Cold While Breastfeeding?The common cold is a viral infection that affects your nose and throat. There is no cure for the cold while breastfeeding, so you’ll need to give it time to clear up.
How Do You Decongest a Baby?Nose and chest congestion are a common occurrence in babies. You can decongest your baby with rest, positioning, hydration, a warm bath, and other home remedies. Most cases of nasal congestion are harmless, but in a few cases where the chest is congested and the baby is not taking feeds, is dull, or has a high fever, it is prudent to seek medical consultation.
How Long Is a Cold or Flu Contagious?Viruses cause the common cold and the flu. Early symptoms and signs for a cold and the flu are similar, however, flu symptoms are typically more severe than cold symptoms. Cold and flu viruses are transmitted typically via coughing or sneezing.
Flu (Influenza)Influenza (flu) is a respiratory illness caused by a virus. Flu symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches. The flu may be prevented with an annual influenza vaccination.
Influenza Virus PictureThe flu is caused by viruses that infect the respiratory tract which are divided into three types, designated A, B, and C. See a picture of Influenza Virus and learn more about the health topic.
Is It Common to Get a Cold During Early Pregnancy?It is common to get a cold and the flu during pregnancy. Find out if it affects the baby and how to take care of yourself.
How to Get Rid of a Cold: Natural RemediesWhat home remedies work to get rid of a cold fast? Many claim cold symptoms and flu symptoms can be relieved with Echinacea, zinc, neti pots, garlic, vitamin C, saltwater gargles, nasal strips, or bed rest. Find out what cold and flu treatments work the natural way, and what doesn't.
How to Differentiate Between the Signs and Symptoms of COVID-19, Allergies, Cold, and Flu?Coronavirus disease or COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Most people with COVID-19 will experience a mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without the need for intensive or special treatment. Serious illness is more likely in elderly people and those with underlying medical conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer.
What Happens if a Pregnant Woman Gets a Cold?Having an ordinary cold shouldn't be harmful to the baby or mother. Pregnant women are highly likely to pick up a cold at some time during pregnancy because it's normal to catch two or three colds a year. A healthy lifestyle is a must to keep the immune system strong and to prevent colds.