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.
Benefits Of Exercise During Pregnancy
All women who are pregnant withoutcomplications should be encouraged to participate in aerobic andstrength-conditioning exercises as part of a healthy lifestyle during theirpregnancy. A reasonable goal should be to maintain a good fitness levelthroughout pregnancy without trying to reach peak fitness.
It is important to stay well hydrated, wearcomfortable and non-restrictive clothing and where possible, avoid excessive over-heating.
Exercise during pregnancy offers manyphysical and emotional benefits. Physical activity may also help manage somesymptoms of pregnancy and make you feel better, knowing youre doing somethinggood for yourself and your baby.
What Cold Medicine Is Safe For Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
The common cold can cause a variety of symptoms, such as runny nose, fever, headache, body aches, cough, sore throat, and congestion. Many over-the-counter cold medicines combine multiple medications that treat these symptoms into a single tablet or liquid. It’s important to review the active ingredients in these products when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding to ensure they are safe for both you and your child. In most cases, it’s best to avoid combination products and instead use single ingredient products to help relieve the symptoms you are experiencing.
Pain Relievers and Fever Reducers
Acetaminophen is considered the preferred medication during all trimesters of pregnancy to treat fever, aches and pains, and is safe to use while breastfeeding.2,3,4 NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen (Advil®
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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.
Importance Of Keeping Wellhydrated When Pregnant
Drinking enough water is a necessity inorder to stay healthy and ensure that your body functions smoothly. Theimportance of drinking water increases further if you are an expectant mother.
When you’re pregnant, you need more waterthan the average person in order to form amniotic fluid, produce extra blood,build new tissue, carry nutrients, enhance digestion, and flush out wastes andtoxins.
Howmuch is enough?
Since you need more water during pregnancy,how much is enough? Its recommended that you drink 8-12 glasses of water aday, or 2.3 litres. If your trips to the bathroom are frequent and your urineis pale or colourless, you’re drinking is on track.
Couldyou be dehydrated?
Signs of dehydration to watch out for:
Benefitsof keeping well hydrated when pregnant
Especially during hot summer months, as amum to be you will want to make sure you stay adequately hydrated. Here arejust some of the benefits of staying hydrated during your pregnancy:
- Prevents fatigue, headaches andoverheating
- Softens skin
Havinga hard time keeping hydrated? Follow these easy tips:
Dehydration can lead to seriouscomplications including low amniotic fluid, kidney stones, swelling andurinary tract infections, which can lead to birth defects, preterm labour andpreterm birth. It is therefore very important to keep well hydrated and pleasesee your doctor if you have any concerns.
1. Avoid over committingyourself
2. Keep your cool
3. Be stress- free
4. Reduce your travel time
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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.
Types Of Cold Medications To Consider
Even after your first trimester, it is best to speak with your doctor about the types and brands of cold medications that are safe to take. Typically speaking, you should avoid any multi-symptom product, which could include ingredients that range from painkillers and decongestants to expectorants and cough suppressants.
Instead, get the drug to treat the symptom you’re experiencing. There are a number of over-the-counter drugs considered to be safe in pregnancy, such as:
- Anesthetic cough drops such as Chloraseptic or Cepacol lozenges
- Expectorants containing guaifenesin to help clear mucus
- Alcohol-free cough syrups containing dextromethorphan, such as Tussin DM
- Combination guaifenesin/dextromethorphan drugs
- Tylenol to treat fever and minor aches and pains
- Menthol rubs such as Vicks or Mentholatum ointment
When buying any over-the-counter cold or flu remedy, always read the label closely. In some cases, there may be ingredients you should avoid. In others, there may be ingredients you don’t need.
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Which Medicines Are Safe
You can find out information on medicines in pregnancy on the bumps website.
They also have advice on what to do if you have already taken a medicine in pregnancy.
But it’s also important to never stop taking a medicine that’s been prescribed to keep you healthy without first checking with your doctor.
Stopping taking your medicine could be harmful to both you and your baby.
If you’re trying for a baby or are already pregnant, it’s important to always:
- check with your doctor, midwife or pharmacist before taking any prescribed medicines or medicines that you have bought
- make sure your doctor, dentist or another healthcare professional knows you’re pregnant before they prescribe anything or give you treatment
- talk to your doctor immediately if you take regular medicine, ideally before you start trying for a baby or as soon as you find out you’re pregnant
Can I Take Cold Medicine During Pregnancy
While there is never really a good time to have a cold or the flu, having one during pregnancy comes with additional difficulties. Unfortunately, getting sick during pregnancy isnt uncommonthe immune system goes through a series of changes during those nine months.
When faced with a seasonal cold or flu while pregnant, you must consider not only your own health but that of your baby’s. While there are certain drugs to avoid, suffering through your symptoms isn’t necessary. Read on for a few tips to consider.
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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.
How Can I Treat The Flu At Home While Pregnant
For symptoms, try these four natural flu remedies:
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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.
Is It Safe To Take Cold Medications During Pregnancy
Is it safe to take cold medications during pregnancy? Here are a few cold medications that are okay to take during pregnancy: The antihistamines chlorpheniramine, loratadine, doxylamine, brompheniramine, phenindamine, pheniramine, triprolidine, and diphenhydramine are considered low risk during pregnancy, but they can make you sleepy, especially doxylamine and diphenhydramine.
What is the best cold medicine for pregnant women? Safe Cold Medicines during Pregnancy. The best medicines you can take during pregnancy include cough drops, Vicks VapoRub, acetaminophen , Sudafed, Claritin, and calcium carbonate, among others. Ideal for soothing inflammation and suppressing coughing, without any known side effects.
What are cold medicines okay to take while pregnant? Here are a few cold medications that are okay to take during pregnancy: The antihistamines chlorpheniramine, loratadine, doxylamine, brompheniramine, phenindamine, pheniramine, triprolidine, and diphenhydramine are considered low risk during pregnancy, but they can make you sleepy, especially doxylamine and diphenhydramine.
What drugs are safe during pregnancy? Chlorpheniramine, such as Triaminic Allergy, and diphenhydramine, such as Benadryl, are safe to take during pregnancy. However, both can cause drowsiness, so these are best taken at bedtime. The maximum dosage for chlorpheniramine is 32 mg in 24 hours.
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Common Medications To Avoid
Knowing what not to take is almost more important than knowing which medications are safe to take during pregnancy. There are a number of medications to avoid while pregnant unless recommended by your doctor. These include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Motrin and Advil , Bayer , and Aleve and Naprosyn , higher doses of which can cause premature blood vessel closure in the baby. However, low-dose aspirin is now routinely recommended for other indications.
- Any cold remedy containing alcohol, including Benadryl and NyQuil
- Codeine, a narcotic drug which may cause fetal respiratory depression
- Bactrim , an antibiotic that can interfere with folic acid metabolism while stimulating the production of bilirubin , both of which are not good for the baby. The concern for folic acid metabolism is only in the first trimester, and the concern for jaundice is only after 32 weeks gestation. The medication can otherwise be used without concern, especially when treatment is necessary.
- Pseudoephedrine- and phenylephrine-based decongestants, both of which may cause the constriction of blood vessels, potentially increasing the risk of a specific birth defect in the first trimester and risk of elevated blood pressures if used later in pregnancy.
If your cold or flu is severe and you are experiencing chest pains, are coughing up discolored mucus, or have a fever over 102o F, call your doctor immediately.
How Long Does A Cold During Pregnancy Last
Cold symptoms generally last 10 to 14 days. And yes, sorry to say, you can get a brand new cold just as the last one is ending, so if it feels like you always have the sniffles, you may be right.
However, if your symptoms persist past 10 to 14 days, or seem to be getting progressively worse, let your practitioner know. He or she will want to make sure your never-ending cold isnt evolving into something more serious, like a secondary infection or the flu.
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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
Is Honey Safe During Pregnancy
Yes, its safe to eat honey during pregnancy. While its not safe to give honey to babies under a year old, eating honey when youre pregnant wont harm you or your unborn child. Thats because your grown-up stomach can handle the bacteria in honey that sometimes makes babies sick with a rare illness called botulism.
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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.
Treating A Cold Or Flu In Early Pregnancy
While it is usually recommended that women avoid medications during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, there are exceptions. Tylenol to prevent fever is recommended, as fever can be detrimental to a developing embryo.
This is not to suggest that all drugs have a potential for harm. In many cases, they don’t. But, in others, we simply don’t know. For this reason alone, you should adhere to your doctor’s advice to avoid all medications for at least the first 12 weeks.
Instead, make every effort to help your body recover by slowing down, resting, and avoiding stresses that can affect your immune system. You can do this by:
- Staying in bed, napping, and getting as much rest as possible
- Drinking plenty of water, soup broth, or juice
- Gargling with salt water to treat a sore throat or cough
- Sucking on ice chips to alleviate a sore throat and to help with hydration
- Using a humidifier to help relieve congestion
- Eating small, healthy meals regularly
- Taking your prenatal vitamins
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Can I Take Cold Medicine While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
There are certain cold medicines that are considered safe to take while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The safety of using over-the-counter cold medication while pregnant or breastfeeding depends on the specific medicines within the products, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and any other medical conditions you may have. You should only use cold medicines for the shortest time possible to help with your symptoms. Always be sure to check with your health care provider or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter cold medicines during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends limiting the amount of over-the-counter cold medicines you take and trying certain home remedies to alleviate symptoms. They promote washing your hands regularly, drinking plenty of fluids, getting ample amounts of rest, eating well, and only using medications to treat the symptoms you are experiencing. As a home remedy for sinus congestion, they recommend using a humidifier, keeping your head elevated on a pillow while resting, and/or using adhesive nasal strips. For sore throat, they recommend sucking on ice chips, drinking warm herbal tea , or gargling warm salt water.1
Common Cold Symptoms During Pregnancy
Generally, a cold will start with a sore or scratchy throat lasting about a day or two, followed by the gradual onset of other symptoms which may include:
- Mild fatigue
- A runny, then later stuffy nose
- A dry cough, particularly as the cold is ending which may continue for a week or more after the other symptoms have mostly subsided
- A low-grade fever typically under 100 degrees Fahrenheit
Cold symptoms usually last between 10 to 14 days. However, if your symptoms persist longer than that time frame or seem to progressively worsen, you should talk to your primary care physician so they can ensure it hasnt turned into something more serious like an infection or the flu.
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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.