Extra: What Not To Use To Treat Nasal Congestion During Pregnancy
What you shouldnt use when looking to treat any form of nasal stuffiness are many types of nasal sprays and medicine-based nasal decongestants.
Thats because a lot of them contain medicine that isnt safe to use during pregnancy and can negatively affect your babys health something you most certainly want to avoid, Im sure.
Before you opt for any sort of medicine, always make sure your obstetrician, doctor or any other qualified healthcare provider okays it first, just in case it might have any negative effects on you or your child.
Some of them only end up affecting you later when your breastfeeding period starts.
They could even interfere with the quality of breast milk and overall milk production, depending on how your body reacts to them.
How Can I Clear My Stuffy Nose
- Boil and cool to room temperature 240ml of water.
- Mix in 1.25ml of salt, and 1.25ml of bicarbonate of soda.
- Stir your mixture with a clean spoon to make sure the dry ingredients have fully dissolved.
- Dribbling the solution into your cupped hand, or a clean cup, and sniffing it into each nostril.
- Using a syringe to squirt a small amount into each nostril. You can get a syringe from your pharmacy.
Sinus Infection While Pregnant: Medication And Natural Remedies
Sinus pressure, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat? Welcome to a sinus infection during pregnancy. Sinus infections while pregnant at the same time makes being sick even worse.Sinusitis occurs when there is an infection in the lining of one of the four nasal cavities, which can cause inflammation and a nasal obstruction inhibiting the proper drainage of mucus. This can result in symptoms such as a stuffy nose and painful pressure around your cheeks and eyes. Such infections may be caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungus, although the cold is the most common contributing factor of sinus infections. Learn more about dealing with a cold during pregnancy.If you have a sinus infection during pregnancy, you may be tempted to take some medication for a quick fix. However, while certain medications are safe to use during pregnancy, other commonly used medications may not be safe to take while pregnant. You may also find that some home remedies may be just as effective in alleviating your symptoms and helping you recover.
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Use A Humidifier To Create A Humidifier
What should a pregnant mother do with a stuffy nose? Put a humidifier in the room to create moist air to soothe itchy nose. However, please clean the humidifier part of the nebulizer regularly, change the water so as not to grow bacteria!
See more: Itching during pregnancy: How dangerous is it?
Home Remedies: How To Alleviate A Congestion Naturally
There are many safe home remedies you can use to alleviate your symptoms and recover from a sinus infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids such as water, broth, and citrus juice. Staying hydrated is important for helping you fight infection and for clearing a stuffy nose.
- Use saline nasal irrigation or saline nose drops. You can make your own saline drops by combining 1 cup of warm water with 1/8 tsp salt and a tiny pinch of baking soda.
- Use a humidifier at night. This will help clear nasal passages. You may also lean over a pan of boiling water taken off the stove, place a towel over your head, and breathe in the steam. This helps open your nasal passages and loosens mucus in your chest.
- Elevating your head with a couple of pillows while lying down may make breathing easier. Using nasal strips also helps open nasal passages.
- For a sore throat, gargle salt water , drink a warm liquid or suck on ice. Honey and lemon may also soothe a sore throat.
- Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep as this will help your immune system fight the infection.
- During pregnancy, it is common to lose your appetite, and feeling sick may not help. However, even if you dont have an appetite, it is important to eat well. If you lose your appetite, it may help to eat smaller meals throughout the day. Make sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables. Soup may also be a soothing option.
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Are There Any Natural Remedies That Can Help Sinusitis
Where possible, tackling this head pain head on is usually the best way to go.
Luckily, there are some handy home remedies you can try to ease the pain of the symptoms:
- If your nose is congested, try saline nose drops, which will dry up some of the secretion, helping you to breathe easier and keep your airways moist
- Try a simple linctus
- Or you can make your own honey and lemon drink ?? if you have a sore throat or cough
- Steam inhalation could help to unblock your airways, so get a bowl of hot water and place your head over it, with a towel over your head and breathe in and out deeply
- Keep hydrated ? by drinking lots of fluids, especially orange juice for vitamin C ?
- If you cant sleep because your face is bunged up, try and raise the head of your bed, by adding extra pillows so that youre sleeping propped up
- If things are getting particular uncomfortable, invest in a humidifier.
Youll also find that certain things work for your specific set of symptoms, like many of our mums.
Lou66 says: I suffer terribly from sinusitis and I have been using Sterimar which is a natural sea water nasal spray that is totally safe in pregnancy. Ive found it makes a huge difference, more than the endless antibiotics and decongestants I was given pre-pregnancy.
Also I put a saucepan of boiling water in my room at bedtime, keeps the air moist and helps to stop your nasal passages drying out.
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How To Prevent A Cold During Pregnancy
Besides avoiding anyone who is visibly sick, wash your hands with soap and water a little more often and scrupulously than you did before. Dont just wash and shake use a towel to make sure your hands are completely dry when youre done. In a pinch, carry an alcohol gel with 60 percent alcohol on the label for quick sanitizing on the go.
But dont blame yourself if you still come down with a cold or several during your pregnancy, despite your best efforts. Viruses are almost impossible to avoid, especially in the winter. There are many joys of being pregnant, but alas, being even more vulnerable to nasty cold bugs isnt one of them. And just remember: This, too, shall pass.
When Do Congestion And Nosebleeds Generally Start During Pregnancy
Nasal congestion is a classic sign of pregnancy so dont be surprised if you develop a case of stuffiness and even a few nosebleeds around week 16. In fact, stopped-up noses are so commonplace that congestion affected a whopping 65 percent of pregnant women enrolled in one study.
And if you think youll get a break from the dripping and blowing in a later trimester, thats usually not the case. Congestion during pregnancy tends to stick with you to the very end. Remember keep the tissues or a few hankies handy!
What Can Pregnant Women Take For A Cold Safe Medications For Colds During Pregnancy
Before you reach for anything in your medicine cabinet when youre in bed with a cold, reach for the phone to call your practitioner so you can ask which remedies are considered safe in pregnancy, as well as which will work best in your case.
Be sure to double-check any prescription or OTC medication or supplement recommended by a different health care provider, such as a therapist, nutritionist or pharmacist, with your practitioner to make sure its safe. And watch out for multi-tasking meds, like general pain relievers, which could contain ingredients that arent cleared for pregnant women. Some remedies youre used to taking may not be safe during pregnancy.
So what cold medications are generally considered safe during pregnancy? Here’s a list:
Always check with your practitioner before you take any medication prescription, over the counter or homeopathic. And dont put off calling the doctor or refuse to take a medication he or she prescribes because you think all drugs are harmful in pregnancy. Many are not. But do be sure the prescribing doctor knows youre expecting.
COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, chills and fatigue can mimic those of the cold and flu. If youre sick with COVID-19 or think you may have COVID-19, stay home and call your doctor for next steps.
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Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy Third Trimester
Pregnancy rhinitis, also known as gestational rhinitis, is the phrase used to refer a runny or stuffy nose that pregnant women may encounter at any time of pregnancy. The condition typically starts in the second or third trimesters, though.
Pregnancy rhinitis generally lasts six weeks or a little more and has no cause of allergy or any other signs of a normal cold. Usually, the signs go away after two weeks of delivering the baby.
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When Does Pregnancy Rhinitis Start
Pregnancy rhinitis can be an early pregnancy symptom that can start in the first trimester, however it can develop at any point of your pregnancy. You may find that your rhinitis symptoms stop or they may carry on throughout the pregnancy. Some women experience rhinitis symptoms for a few weeks after theyve given birth too.
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Sneezing Runny Nose And Watery Eyes
These symptoms are the result of histamine release, which isan immune response to an invading virus. Chlorpheniramine, such as TriaminicAllergy, and diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, are safe to take duringpregnancy. However, both can cause drowsiness, so these are best taken atbedtime. The maximum dosage for chlorpheniramine is 32 mg in 24 hours.
When compared to placebos, antihistamines have the most successful resultswithin the first couple days of treatment. Patients didnt report any relief ofsymptoms between days three and 10. Newer antihistamines, such as loratadine, are approved for allergies, not colds, so there isnt informationabout how well they work for cold symptoms.
Medicines That Are Safe For Pregnant Women To Take When Sick
When you are pregnant, your immune system doesnt operate at maximum capacity, which is actually a good thing because it keeps your growing baby protected, and stops your body from thinking the fetus is an intruder. However, this comes with the downside that your body cant ward off the viruses that cause the common cold quite as effectively. This can leave you vulnerable to the symptoms that come along, including a congested nose, cough, and sore throat.
As we move into cold and flu season, you may find yourself coming down with a cold, and while you can rest assured that your baby isnt experiencing any of them, you want to get rid of the symptoms quickly and safely. While colds are mostly an uncomfortable annoyance best managed by a little extra rest, fluids, and patience, you may find yourself seeking out cold medications to alleviate your symptoms. We recommend making a so they can steer you in the right direction in terms of cold medications that are considered safe during pregnancy. Here are our own recommendations on what to do if you get sick while pregnant.
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When To See Your Doctor
A sinus infection can resolve itself with home treatment. But there are times when you should see a doctor.
Make an appointment with your doctor if your symptoms dont improve with OTC medications or home remedies, or if your symptoms worsen.
Contact your doctor if you have a fever higher than 101°F , or if you start coughing up green or yellow mucus. Also see your doctor if you have recurrent sinus infections.
Leaving a severe sinus infection untreated increases the risk of complications, such as meningitis. Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes in the brain or spinal cord.
An untreated infection can spread to other parts of the body, such as the bones, eyes, and skin. It can also affect your sense of smell.
Causes Of A Congested Nose While Pregnant
Pregnancy rhinitis is thought to be caused by hormonal changes. Increases in hormones such as estrogen, progesterone, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, and placental growth hormone can cause the lining of the nasal passage to swell, which increases mucus production. This theory is further backed up by the fact that some people report congestion symptoms during their menstrual cycles or with the use of birth control pills.
Some other potential causes are:
- More blood circulates through the body during pregnancy. This can cause the blood vessels in the nose to swell, which can lead to nasal congestion.
- Blood flow to the mucous membranes increases, which can produce excess mucus and feelings of congestion.
- Sometimes the cause is a natural enlargement of the nasal veins, which can occur during pregnancy.
- People who have allergies pre-pregnancy are more likely to experience allergy symptoms during their pregnancy as well.
Be Cautious When Seeking Treatment
Many women use non-prescription, over-the-counter decongestant sprays to open up their nasal passages. Know that these medicines dont work for pregnancy rhinitis. These medicines may give you temporary relief. However, they may actually make your symptoms worse and lead to a complete nasal blockage.
How can you get relief from pregnancy rhinitis? Experts say you can breathe easy with these measures:
Dont use OTC nasal decongestants.
Drink plenty of fluids.
Increase the humidity levels in your home. Use a humidifier.
Dont use nasal irritants, such as cigarette smoke.
Get moving. Regular, moderate-intensity exercise can reduce congestion. It can also help you sleep better. But first, check with your healthcare provider to see what exercises are safe for you.
When you go to sleep, raise the head of your bed. For instance, use an extra pillow or a wedge.
Ask your healthcare provider about using OTC nasal strips and saline sprays or drops.
The good news? Even if you dont do anything, you can expect your stuffy nose to clear up soon after your baby is born. It often goes away within two weeks of childbirth.
Online Medical Reviewer: Bowers, Nancy, RN, BSN, MPH Foley, Maryann, RN, BSN
Date Last Reviewed: 4/12/2016
A Word About Antibiotics
So many patients call asking for antibiotics for a cold,usually when theyve had symptoms for several days. There are a few times whenantibiotics are appropriate, for instance, strep throat or sinus infectionscaused by bacteria. But antibiotics simply dont work against viruses thatcause the common cold. Overprescribing antibiotics for viral illnesses leads toantibiotic resistance, which means the bacteria grow stronger over time andbecome tougher to beat with antibiotics.If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic for cold symptoms, its usually a short,three-day round of drugs. The patient often feels better after finishing themedication but probably would have recovered in that timeframe anyway withoutthe drug.
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Can I Take Medication For A Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy
It’s generally best to only take medications that are necessary, especially during your first trimester of pregnancy . But if pregnancy rhinitis is severe, your doctor may suggest taking a short course of a specific decongestant, particularly if you’re further along in your pregnancy.
Never use OTC without getting your doctor’s OK first. Some research suggests that decongestants may lead to birth defects, especially if taken for longer periods of time and in the first trimester. What’s more, they can cause you to experience rapid heartbeat, anxiety, tremors, and insomnia and even make congestion worse. Your doctor will weigh the risks and benefits of decongestants and likely only recommend occasionally taking the lowest dose possible for a few days max.
Other drugs that are sometimes used to treat congestion, including corticosteroids and antihistamines, are usually only recommended to treat stuffiness linked to other causes . There’s little evidence on their safety or effectiveness at treating pregnancy rhinitis, so they usually aren’t recommended.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2021. Cold Versus Flu.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2019. Sinus Infection.
National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine. . Stuffy or runny nose adult.
Why Do You Get Pregnancy Rhinitis
The truth is, it is not known exactly why some women experience pregnancy rhinitis. However, there are a number of changes that happen to the body during pregnancy which could be the reason as to why some women suffer from this condition.For example, during pregnancy, blood flow increases to areas of the body called mucus membranes with the nose being one of them. This increase in blood can then cause the nose to swell, causing the mucus to thicken and as a result, lead to feelings of stuffiness. In fact, its thought that this increase in blood volume can mean youre more likely to develop rhinitis by up to 30%. Its also thought that hormonal imbalances and the increase of the oestrogen hormone during pregnancy can be to blame for rhinitis.
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What Is Sinusitis In Pregnancy
Sinusitis is the medical term for an infection of the sinuses, which are air-filled pockets around your nose. Theyre lined with a membrane that produces mucus, which, under normal circumstances, efficiently drains away. But when your sinuses are inflamed and swollen, that drainage slows down, the fluid builds up and you end up feeling as if you have a bad cold.
While you might be more susceptible to a sinus infection in pregnancy, the condition manifests itself the same way it would for anyone, pregnant or not, says Omid Mehdizadeh, MD, an otolaryngologist and laryngologist at Providence Saint Johns Health Center in Santa Monica, California.