Home Remedies For Cold And Flu During Pregnancy
- saline nasal drops and sprays to loosen nasal mucus and soothe inflamed nasal tissue
- breathing warm, humid air to help ease congestion a facial steamer, hot-mist vaporizer, or even a hot shower can work
- chicken soup to help relieve inflammation and soothe congestion
- adding honey or lemon to a warm cup of decaffeinated tea to relieve a sore throat
- using hot and cold packs to alleviate sinus pain
Cold Medications To Avoid Or Use With Caution
Your doctor or midwife will likely suggest avoiding the following medications during pregnancy or may recommend skipping them in certain trimesters often because there’s a concern that they could contribute to possible birth defects or pregnancy complications:
Also keep in mind that herbal supplements haven’t been well-studied in pregnant women , so skip them unless you’ve cleared a specific supplement with your provider.
Be aware that some liquid cold medicines contain alcohol in concentrations as high as 4.75 percent. Look for products that are labeled “alcohol-free.”
Cold Medications That Are Okay To Take During Pregnancy
The following drugs have been studied or used relatively often in pregnant women and are generally considered safe to use when you’re expecting:
- Acetaminophinto relieve pain and reduce fevers. It’s best to take the minimum effective dose for only as long as you need it, and to never exceed the recommended maximum dosage per day.
- Antihistaminesto relieve nasal congestion. Antihistamines that are considered safe for pregnant women include:
Also Check: Is Aleve Safe While Pregnant
Are Antibiotics Safe During Pregnancy
Yes, antibiotics are usually safe during pregnancy. However, tetracycline and doxycycline can cause discoloration of an infants teeth, so its safest to avoid them. Always follow your doctors advice for your own unique situation. Here are some types of antibiotics that are commonly prescribed for pregnant women:
A Special Consideration: Whooping Cough
Whooping cough is a contagious infection that is characterized by excessive, violent coughing followed by an intake of breath that makes a whooping sound. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention is now recommending that all pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine during each of their pregnancies, preferably between the 27th-36th weeks of pregnancy.This will ensure that protection against whooping cough is passed down to your baby for the first couple of months after birth. Since your child will not receive their first whooping cough vaccine until they are 2 months old, getting this vaccine while you are pregnant will ensure your infant is protected until then. Learn more about taking vaccinations during your pregnancy.
Also Check: Does Plan B Affect Future Pregnancy
Pain Due To Headaches Or Sore Throat
Acetaminophen is a first-choice medication for pain relief in pregnant people. Some researchers suggest that taking acetaminophen during pregnancy might not be as safe as previously thought. But ACOG still recommends it as one of the only safe pain relievers expectant mothers can take.
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.
Recommended Reading: Can You Find Out Who The Father Is While Pregnant
Cough Medicines For Pregnant Women
Experiencing a cough while pregnant can cause physical discomfort and generate concern. When simple measures, like sucking on cough drops or sipping hot tea, fail to suppress a cough, some mothers-to-be seek relief with over-the-counter or prescription cough medicine. The safety of different types of cough medicine for pregnant women varies, depending primarily on the specific drug or drugs in the medication and how far along the pregnancy is. Pregnant women with a cough should consult their healthcare provider about the potential risks and benefits before taking cough medicine and to determine whether they need to be seen for further evaluation of their cough.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
These Surprising Safer Alternatives May Be A Better Choice
Mothers-to-be get headaches and upset stomachs just like everyone else. So it’s not surprising that most pregnant women have used over-the-counter medications. In fact, some data suggest that, overall, women are actually more likely to use certain medicationsincluding cough and cold drugs and acetaminophen after they become pregnant.
“There’s a misperception that if a drug is available over-the-counter, that it’s approved by the Food and Drug Administration, so it must be safe for everyone, including pregnant women,” Allen Mitchell, M.D. professor of pediatrics and epidemiology at the Boston University School of Public Health and Medicine, said. “Even doctors may think this is the case.” But some OTC drugs have been shown to pose risks to the developing fetus at different stages of pregnancy.
To help you and your doctor make more informed choices about which medications to take, we’ve identified 10 common ingredients used in OTC drugs that are risky for pregnant women, as well as safer alternatives.
Even then, you should use alternatives judiciously, and only as advised by your health care provider. Experts refer to safer medications because for 98 percent of prescription and OTC drugs, there simply isn’t enough data to say for sure that a drug is entirely safe to take during pregnancy. Due to ethical concerns, most FDA-approved medicines have not been tested in pregnant women.
Tell us below.
What Home Remedies Can I Take For A Cold While Pregnant
breathing warm, humid air to help loosen congestion a facial steamer, hot-mist vaporizer, or even a hot shower can work. chicken soup , to help relieve inflammation and soothe congestion. adding honey or lemon to a warm cup of decaffeinated tea to relieve a sore throat. using hot and cold packs to alleviate sinus pain.
How To Treat The Flu While Pregnant
It is usually safe for pregnant women to treat the flu with Tamiflu . Keep in mind that a high fever can lead to birth defects or preterm birth, so your doctor may recommend Tamiflu to help lessen the effects of the flu. Always seek advice from a medical professional if you develop flu-like symptoms while pregnant, including:
Don’t Miss: How To Get Food Stamps While Pregnant
Cough And Cold During Pregnancy: Treatment And Prevention
Many medications you normally would use to treat the symptoms of your cold are not safe to take during your pregnancy. The following is a list of medications that pose little risk to your baby during pregnancy however, it is best to consult with your doctor before taking any medications to relieve your symptoms.
For A Stuffy Or Runny Nose:
Run a cool mist humidifier or step into a steamy shower to relieve nasal congestion.
Gently massaging the sinuses can also help with the drainage. You can also try irrigating your sinuses with saline nose drops or a neti pot. Drinking extra fluids can also help to thin mucus and make you less stuffy.
Herbal And Homeopathic Remedies And Aromatherapy In Pregnancy
Not all natural remedies or complementary therapies are safe in pregnancy.
Some products used may not be of a high quality and may contain other substances, such as lead, that could be harmful.
Tell your midwife, doctor or pharmacist if youre using herbal, homeopathic or aromatherapy remedies or therapies.
If you do decide to use these therapies, you should always consult a qualified practitioner.
You should tell your practitioner that youre pregnant before discussing any treatment.
The Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care provides information on qualified or registered practitioners.
Organisations with PSA-accredited voluntary registers include:
Heartburn And Acid Reflux
OTC antacids containing alginic acid, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium are generally safe during pregnancy:
- aluminum hydroxide-magnesium hydroxide
- calcium carbonate
For severe heartburn, your doctor may suggest taking H2 blockers, such as:
- ranitidine . Ranitidine, brand name Zantac, is now marketed as Zantac 360, which contains a different active ingredient . Famotidine is in the same class as ranitidine and works the same way but has not been found to contain unacceptable levels of NDMA.
Lifestyle changes may also help take the edge off heartburn:
- Wear loose-fitting clothing that doesnt put pressure on your abdomen.
- Try keeping a food diary to help identify certain foods that may trigger your reflux.
- Wait three hours to lie down after meals. Avoid late meals right before bedtime.
- Sleep with your head elevated at night.
- Eat small meals throughout the day.
Speak with your doctor if your heartburn becomes severe. In rare cases, it may be a sign of HELLP syndrome. This is a serious pregnancy complication.
Recommended Reading: Can I Get Pregnant With Ms
How Can I Tell If Its A Cold Or Flu
With a cold, you will have:
a blocked or runny nose,
sneezing and a cough
You might also experience a mild fever or a headache, although these symptoms are not as common.
As a general rule, the flu comes on faster. It causes:
leaves you feeling exhausted
Flu can be very serious in pregnancy and thats why its important if youre pregnant and youve got a high temperature or a cough thats not going away or youre feeling generally unwell that you see your midwife or doctor, says Dr Ellie.
Its also why pregnant women are included in the groups of individuals eligible to get the flu vaccine and are recommended to get it every year.
Its best to avoid all medications in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. After that, heres what you can and cant take.
A low dose of paracetamol, only for as long as needed
Cold cure tablets/drink sachets
If you do have a temperature, you can take paracetamol, says Gill Adgie, regional head of Royal College of Midwives. This is safe for pregnant women to take and will help reduce your fever. The NHS advises using paracetamol at the lowest effective dose, for the shortest possible time.
You should avoid antihistamines, ibuprofen and aspirin during pregnancy, says Boots flu pharmacist Deepa Songara.
If your problems do persist, give your GP a ring to see if you should book an appointment to get checked over.
You May Like: Does Medicare Pay For Flu Shots At Walmart
Can You Take Cold Medicine When Pregnant
There is a huge variety of cough and cold products available. It can be so hard to know what to take!
Good news is, most cold medications are pregnancy-safe, especially in the second or third trimester. Theres no need to suffer with sinus infections or an upper respiratory tract infection just find the medication that fits your symptoms best with your doctors approval.
In general, over the counter medications are safe for pregnancy . Short-term use is typically OK, especially after the first trimester of pregnancy. But be careful with liquid cough medications as they often contain alcohol. Medications like DayQuil and NyQuil may not be safe.
If you are experiencing cold symptoms, . As a general rule, you should always ask your provider before starting any medical treatments. Your specific symptoms may be better treated by prescription medications. In most cases, the cold medicines you have in the medicine cabinet are OK, but you should always call your doctor and ask first.
Before taking over the counter medications, try some natural remedies. During the first trimester of pregnancy, it is safest to start with these natural cold symptom relievers and to switch to medication if your symptoms dont improve and with doctors approval.
If your symptoms do not approve, you can use medication as well as use some of these natural cold relieving methods.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Pregnant At 47 Fast
Tips To Prevent Cough In Pregnancy
When pregnant, your body works to sustain and nourish the little life flourishing inside you. This weakens your immune system and you are susceptible to common colds, and coughs. It is not possible to steer clear of every germ that can cause cough, yet you can try and boost your chances of not getting sick by taking the below precautions:
- Stay away from people or children at home suffering from cough and cold.
- Practice hygiene wash hands thoroughly with soap and often.
- Keep your surroundings clean as bacteria thrive in dirty areas.
- Avoid sharing stuff with those suffering from cold.
- Ensure sufficient sleep and rest.
- If you are frequently prone to coughs and colds, consider taking a flu jab after consulting with your obstetrician.
- The best way to avoid coughs during pregnancy would be to help your immune system. Have a balanced diet, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, rest, and exercise to strengthen the immune system.
All in all, persistent cough should not be ignored during pregnancy. Follow the above home remedies, if the cough still persists, immediately consult the doctor. To sum up, stay stress free and hydrated during pregnancy to avoid unpleasant experiences such as coughs. Eat healthy and live healthy!
Read Also: How To Check Your Stomach For Pregnancy
How Can I Treat The Flu At Home While Pregnant
For symptoms, try these four natural flu remedies:
Recommended Reading: Can You Get Pregnant When You Have Endometriosis
Guidelines For Expecting Mothers
Tingling in your throat, some congestion in your chest, a little ache in your back or an errant sneeze or twothese symptoms are often the makings of the flu or a cold. Typically, if youre faced with a case of the sniffles or a sore throat, a dose of cold medicine and a good nights sleep will do the trick.
But not if youre pregnant. Unfortunately, many over-the-counter medicines are off limits during pregnancy.
Typically, the symptoms of a bad cold or the flu while youre pregnant wont affect your baby, says Dr. Marcel Favetta, an OBGYN at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center and Geisinger South Wilkes-Barre. However, some of the medicines can be harmful, or they havent been studied widely, so you may have to get through this brief illness without some of the remedies you took before you were pregnant.
How to prevent the flu when pregnantOne preventive measure that is recommended during your pregnancy is getting a flu shot. Getting a flu shot if you are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant can help keep you and your baby safe during flu season, which lasts from November to March.
If youre pregnant when you get the flu, you are at greater risk for serious complications that could affect both you and your baby, says Dr. Favetta. Fevers, which are common during the flu, are associated with birth defects.
The CDC recommends getting a flu shot during any trimester of pregnancy.
You should also try to get plenty of sleep and drink fluids.
How Do I Prevent Getting A Cough Or Cold During Pregnancy
In order to avoid getting a cold or cough, the most important step to take is to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Make sure you are eating nutritiously, getting the necessary amount of sleep, and exercising on a regular basis. In addition to this, it is important that you take your prenatal vitamins, as well as probiotics.Wash your hands regularly. If you know you are around someone who is struggling with a cold, avoid touching their hands or eating after them. Take extra effort to wash your hands more frequently when you are around those who have a cold or cough.Tracking your medication is easy with the Fetal Life App for Apple and Android endorsed by the American Pregnancy Association. It features medicine tracking, meal recommendations, kicks counter, blood glucose tracking, and much more.
Want to Know More?
Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Yankowitz, Jerome. . Drugs in Pregnancy in Gibbs, Ronald S., Karlan, Beth Y., & Haney, Arthur F., & Nygaard, Ingrid E. , Danforths Obstetrics and Gynecology, 10th edition . Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
2. The First Trimester: First 12 weeks in Johnson, Robert V. , Mayo Clinic Complete Book of Pregnancy & Babys First Year . New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc.
3. Common concerns and questions of pregnancy in Harms, Roger W. , Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy . New York, NY: HarperCollins Publishers Inc.
4. Mayo Clinic Staff. . Whooping Cough.
Read Also: How To Know Pregnancy Month