The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating a Cold During Pregnancy

The Do's and Don'ts of Treating a Cold During Pregnancy

The Do’s and Don’ts of Treating a Cold During Pregnancy

Getting a cold or flu during your pregnancy undoubtedly makes everything more unbearable especially if it means getting sick in your first trimester and you’re already battling sickening nausea and headaches. But the ways in which pregnant women can go about curing their cold and alleviating symptoms is greatly restricted compared to if she wasn’t carrying. We all know medicine of any kind generally should be avoided during pregnancy, but high fevers are also extremely dangerous for both mother and child. So what medicines are safe and what alternatives are there to feeling better when you’re sick during your pregnancy? Below I’ve written guidelines of the do’s and don’ts of treating a cold during pregnancy.

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Medication

  • DO take Tylenol (acetaminophen) and paracetamol. They are usually considered safe medications to reduce fever and help with aches and pain during pregnancy.
  • DO talk with your doctor before you plan on taking any medication because every women is different and your doctor is the best person to determine the right dosage. They will most likely want you on the lowest dose possible for the shortest amount of time to reduce any unwanted effects on the child.
  • DO expect to follow stricter guidelines if you are carrying a pregnancy with a higher risk of miscarriage.
    • Your doctor may prescribe you antivirals which can reduce the length of time you are sick and decrease the chance of complications.
  • DO NOT take aspirin or ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Nuprin). Some studies have suggested these classes of drugs can lead to an increase rate of miscarriage, among other complications.

Vaccines

  • DO get vaccinated for the flu. The flu is extremely dangerous for women in their last stages of pregnancy due to the high risk of related infection.
    • The flu vaccine is safe to get throughout your pregnancy.
    • Mom’s antibodies can pass to the baby and they will receive the benefit of having protected immunity for almost half a year after they’re born.

Home Remedies

  • DO get rest! Save your energy and get some extra shut eye when you’re sick. Overexertion and stress will only make you feel worse and will lengthen your cold or flu.
  • DO stay hydrated. Make sure you drink enough water to prevent dehydration. After all your little mermaid or merman needs plenty of water to swim in!
    • DO consume soups, which are a great source of liquids and healthy nutrients for mom and baby.
    • DON’T drink coffee or tea as caffeinated drinks can leave you dehydrated.
  • DO get plenty of vitamin C. Get the best of both worlds by drinking all natural juice.
    • DON’T take in more than 85 mg of vitamin C a day. Taking too much vitamin C can lead to an upset stomach and possibly  It’s best not to take supplements, but incorporating vitamin C into your diet should be an easy task. Some other sources of vitamin C:
      • single kiwi – 91 mg
      • half cup broccoli – 51 mg
      • medium tomato – 16 mg
      • cup strawberries – 85 mg
      • medium orange – 70 mg
      • medium baked potato – 17 mg
      • cup spinach – 8 mg
  • DO stay warm. Being cold will make matters worse so cozy up with a blanket or add some extra layers to your wardrobe.

  • DO wash your hands frequently to prevent spreading germs to yourself and others. Hand sanitizer is a good alternative if you don’t have access to a sink.
    • Preventing the spread of germs is super important when you have additional kids in the house.
  • DO use a humidifier to reduce congestion. Pure Enrichment cool mist humidifier is a great addition to your home. It makes little to no sound when on, can automatically shut off and comes with a night light function!
  • DO stock up on cough drops. A favorite of mine are HALLS Sugar-Free Cough Drops in Honey Lemon. Yum!
  • DO use Vicks VapoRub to soothe cough. I like to put some on my chest to soothe my coughs, but you can also put some on the soles of your feet. It works surprisingly well! I recommend wearing some cozy socks to prevent it from getting everywhere.

Doctor, Doctor

  • DO call your doctor if you have a fever above 102° F.
  • DO talk to your doctor about any medication you plan on taking, reiterating this because this is really important, ladies!
  • DO ask about vaccinations for the flu and possibly Tdap (if you’re in the 27th-36th weeks of pregnancy).

A mother’s health is a key determinant of her child’s future health. Taking steps to ensure that your baby has a strong immune system is vitally important to their future development. One of the best things that a mother can offer to her baby is her immunity. We’re all human and we can’t avoid getting sick, but it’s good knowing the antibodies you receive after a cold or flu is helping you and your baby in the long run.

What are the do’s and don’ts of treating a cold during your pregnancy? Leave a comment below!

Stress is bad. Stress during pregnancy is even WORSE. Read 14 Ways to Reduce Stress During Pregnancy.

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