Whatif I Get The Flu While Pregnant
If you are pregnant and think you have theflu, see your doctor as soon as possible. It is recommended that pregnant womenwho have the flu are treated with antiviral medicines because they are at muchhigher risk of complications. Antiviral medicines work best when started within48 hours of symptoms starting.
Important facts for pregnant women:
- Flu can be lifethreatening for pregnant women and their baby.
- Flu shots arefree for all pregnant women.
- A flu shot is thebest way to protect you and your baby against flu.
- A flu shot willalso protect your baby from flu after birth.
- Flu shots aresafe for both mother and baby and can be given at any stage of pregnancy.
- Contact a doctorimmediately if you develop flu symptoms.
Acetaminophen / Dextromethorphan / Pseudoephedrine Breastfeeding Warnings
There are no data on the excretion of acetaminophen/dextromethorphan/phenylephrine into human milk.Acetaminophen is excreted into human milk in small concentrations. One case of a rash has been reported in a nursing infant. Acetaminophen is considered compatible with breast-feeding by the American Academy of Pediatrics.There are no data on the excretion of dextromethorphan into human milk.Pseudoephedrine is excreted into human milk. The effects in the nursing infant are unknown. The American Academy of Pediatrics considers pseudoephedrine to be compatible with breast-feeding.
References for pregnancy information
References for breastfeeding information
Will Having A Cold Affect The Baby
Having a cold during pregnancy will not usually affect the fetus. Colds are mild illnesses that a persons immune system can handle relatively easily.
Having a cold during pregnancy will not usually affect the fetus. Colds are mild illnesses that a persons immune system can handle relatively easily.However, the persons temperature and infections can affect the fetus. If a person is experiencing a fever or other signs of infection, it is essential to speak with a doctor immediately to find the best way to reduce these symptoms.
When a person is pregnant, their body deals with a cold in much the same way as it does at any other time. The symptoms are temporary, and in most cases, the cold will be gone in 710 days.
If someone experiences the following symptoms during pregnancy, they should talk to a doctor right away:
- a fever of over 100.4° F
- severe or unusual symptoms
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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.”
From Sore Throats & Sneezing To The Flu Learn How To Support Yourself When You Feel Unwell During Pregnancy
Your body will see many changes throughout your pregnancy, and a temporary adjustment to your immune system is one of them. This is all to protect you and your baby different parts of your immune system are enhanced while others are suppressed, helping to shield baby from the risk of infection without compromising your own health. These changes also help protect your baby from your body natural defences.
As your immune system is now working hard to support the two of you, the chances of catching a common cold are higher during pregnancy.
The common cold is a viral infection that causes a range of symptoms, including:
A sore throat
A blocked or runny nose
A high temperature
Loss of taste or smell
Colds usually come on gradually, and you’ll start feeling better in a week or two.
Getting a cold while you’re pregnant
Generally speaking, getting a cold while you’re pregnant is unlikely to be serious, and you won’t need to see your GP or midwife. Get as much rest as you can, drink plenty of fluids and aim to eat a healthy and balanced diet.
Treating a cold while you’re pregnant
To help relieve your headache and throat pain, and to help reduce a high temperature, you can consider taking paracetamol. Paracetamol is generally considered safe for use at all stages of pregnancy.
As with any medicine, you should take the lowest dose needed, for the shortest amount of time required. If you have any questions, your pharmacist can offer advice.
Cold & flu medicines
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Which Cold Medicines Are Safe During Pregnancy
A variety of cough and cold medications are available at your local pharmacy. But it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones are safe to take while pregnant. Different medications target different cold symptoms. Pinpointing your specific symptoms can help you decide which medications to take.
Research on cough and cold medications during pregnancy is limited. Some research suggests that certain medications should be avoided during the first trimester. This is because the first trimester is an important time of development for your baby. And you dont want anything to interfere with that process.
Below, well cover different medications that can be used for various cold symptoms. Always ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist before taking any medications while pregnant. If you need medications, take the lowest amount needed to relieve your symptoms. And only take them for the shortest period of time possible.
Supplement Use During Pregnancy
Discuss any supplements you take or plan to take during your pregnancy with your doctor.
While prenatal vitamins are recommended to support levels of essential vitamins and minerals, like folate, other supplements may pose risks to your baby. They may also interact with medications youre already taking.
Note that just because something is labeled all-natural doesnt always mean its safe. Supplements are by the FDA in the same way as prescription drugs. Approach them with caution and discuss using with your doctor before starting any.
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When To See A Doctor
- You have a fever over 101 degrees F
- Your cold is severe enough to interfere with eating or sleeping
- Youre coughing up greenish or yellowish mucus
- You have a cough with chest pain or wheezing
- Your sinuses are throbbing
- If symptoms last more than 10 to 14 days its possible that your cold has progressed to a secondary infection, and a prescription medication may be needed for your safety and your babys
From the What to Expect editorial team and Heidi Murkoff, author of What to Expect When You’re Expecting. What to Expect follows strict reporting guidelines and uses only credible sources, such as peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions and highly respected health organizations. Learn how we keep our content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.
Safety Of Nyquil Ingredients In Pregnancy
Some Nyquil medications are safe to use during pregnancy and some are not. It all depends on the ingredients found in each. You should not take NyQuil Severe Cold & Flu if youre pregnant. Use of its active ingredient in early pregnancy may be linked with some birth defects. You should also talk to your doctor before using the liquid forms of NyQuil Cold & Flu and NyQuil Cough during pregnancy.
The active ingredients in Nyquil products are listed in the chart below. Alcohol is an inactive ingredient, but it can also affect pregnancy.
- Black, R. A., & Hill, D. A. . Over-the-counter medications in pregnancy. American Family Physician, 67, 2517-24
- Briggs, G. G., Freeman, R. K., & Yaffe, S. J. . Drugs in pregnancy and lactation: A reference guide to fetal and neonatal risk. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
- Quinlan, J. D., & Hill, D. A. . Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy. American Family Physician, 68, 121-128
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Drink Lots Of Water And Beverages
Water hydrates the body and washed out toxins. Recommended for any physical condition, this precious liquid has even greater benefits in the delicate state of pregnancy. Still, if you arent used to drinking water or if you find it too tasteless, you may turn to other beverages. Fresh fruit or vegetable juices are much more preferable than the stimulating coffee or soda drinks which contain too much sugar or artificial sweeteners.
What Causes A Cold During Pregnancy
The reasons someone catches a cold while pregnant are the same as they were before baby. The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, and there are over 200 viruses that cause it, including the very common Rhinovirus, says Cynthia Flynn, MD, a Florida-based ob-gyn with JustAnswer. Plus, cold viruses are easily spread through direct contact and the air , so they can be transmitted through something you touch or even by being near someone else with a cold, Flynn adds.
Pregnant women are also more prone to colds because of their changed immune system, which works extra hard to protect both mom and baby. The immune system during pregnancy is very complex and changes to immune responses to the fetus, she explains. While the specific changes are very complex, the end result is that minor infections may be more common. They can last longer tooanywhere from five to 10 days, Flynn says. Most women will experience two to three colds during their pregnancy, but, like so many other aspects of pregnancy, this will vary from person to person. Some experience no colds, and some many more. This depends on the exposure that the woman has in her day-to-day life, Flynn says.
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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.
Taking Care Of Yourself
If you come down with a cold, self-care will be an important part of your treatment plan.
Do your best to:
- Drink plenty of clear fluids
- Eat a well-balanced diet rich in fruits and vegetables
Drinking hot water or tea with honey and lemon, gargling salt water, or sucking on ice chips are all safe ways to help soothe a sore or irritated throat.
Notify your healthcare provider if your symptoms seem especially severe or persistent.
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Dealing With A Cold While Pregnant
A cold is a very common mild viral infection of the nose, throat, sinuses and upper airways. It can cause a blocked nose followed by a runny nose, sneezing, a sore throat and a cough. The cold will usually last for about a week as the body fights off the infection.
There is no cure for a cold, although you can usually relieve the symptoms of a cold at home by taking over-the-counter medication, such as paracetamol, and drinking plenty of fluids.
What Other Mums Say On Our Forum:
- You would probably be better to take paracetamol and make a hot honey and lemon drink. That way you dont have half the additives, Samatha24
- My hubby asked the chemist about throat lozenges and lemsips and was told not to touch them. He said try merocaine lozenges, theyre safe for pregnant women and to be honest I found them better than the normal stuff, BigMumma
- I had a cold at middle trimester and used them in a bowl of hot water and a towel over my head, either that or vapour rub in bed, Hayleys1
- A nurse I spoke to recommended lots of orange juice, mixed with hot water if I wanted a hot drink, paracetamol and plenty of rest, KitKat
- No drugs are tested on pregnant women for obvious reasons, it would be unethical. For this reason its difficult to say which drugs are safe and which arent. Steam inhalation, chicken soup and a duvet should do the trick! Mrshappy123
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Tips To Consider Before Taking An Otc Drug
- Try nondrug measures. For complaints commonly handled by OTC products, nondrug measures can help alleviate symptoms without the risk. For example, stress busters such as massage, meditation, relaxation exercises, or even a walk around the block, can help with tension headaches. And rest, fluids, and chicken soup are a much safer way for pregnant women to deal with symptoms of a cold than antihistamines and decongestants.
- Consult your healthcare provider. Dont take anything without first discussing it with your practitioner. There are trade-offs with OTC products, Mitchell said. You have to balance your need to take something with any possible risks.
- Avoid combination products. Multi-symptom cold and allergy medications typically contain ingredients from the off-limits list. For example, while Tylenol pain reliever is relatively safe for occasional use during pregnancy, Tylenol Sinus Congestion and Pain and Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom liquid contain the decongestant phenylephrine, which is not.
- Read labels.Ingredients such as alcohol and caffeine turn up in surprising places. For example, Vicks Nyquil Cold & Flu Liquid contains alcohol. And CVS Aspirin-Free Tension Headache, is indeed, free of aspirin, but still contains caffeine.
What Can You Do To Feel Better If You Get A Cold During Pregnancy
Although many of the medications that relieve cold symptoms are typically off-limits during pregnancy, you dont have to suffer with a runny nose and hacking cough when youre pregnant. Some of the most effective cold remedies dont come from the pharmacy shelf. Heres how to feel better faster:
What to Expect selects products based on independent research and suggestions from our community of millions of parents learn more about our review process. We may earn commissions from shopping links.
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Best Cold Medicines For A Runny Nose
People with a cold or flu may experience a runny nose, or rhinitis. OTC medicine is unlikely to help relieve a runny nose due to a cold.
Topical anticholinergics, such as ipratropium bromide nasal spray, may help reduce a runny nose. However, this medicine requires a prescription from a doctor.
- For a cold: People aged 5 years and over can use ipratropium 0.06% nasal spray three or four times per day for up to 4 days.
- For a seasonal allergy: People aged 5 years and over can use ipratropium 0.06% nasal spray four times per day for up to 3 weeks.
- For year-round allergies: People aged 6 years and over can use ipratropium 0.03% nasal spray two or three times daily.
However, anticholinergics may not be safe for everyone to use. This includes people with some other health conditions, such as glaucoma, and those using certain other medications. A doctor can advise on whether these medicines are suitable for an individual.
Sometimes, a runny nose is a symptom of an allergic reaction. If this symptom is due to an allergy and not a cold, antihistamines may help.
Pseudoephedrine, present in Sudafed, is an oral decongestant.
It is available without a prescription in many states, but there are restrictions on how much a person can buy because of the risk of dependency and adverse effects.
Phenylephrine, present in Sudafed PE, is effective for the short-term relief of nasal congestion and is available on the pharmacy shelf.
Cold And Flu Season Has Arrived
While catching a cold is a hindrance at the best of times, becoming unwell during pregnancy is especially complicated. After all, everything that happens to you during pregnancy affects not just your body but that of your baby. Given this, you want to be careful with the medications you use to alleviate symptoms.
Although cold and flu are both highly common illnesses, pregnant people are at increased risk since the immune system is suppressed to protect the baby from the bodys defences. As such, pregnant people are more likely to experience worse cold symptoms, take longer to recover and are more vulnerable to cold complications, such as bronchitis, sinus infections and pneumonia.
If you are pregnant and suffering from a cold, here is our guide to managing your symptoms.
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