Flu And Cold Medicine While Pregnant
Can you take flu and cold medicine while pregnant? Perhaps some of them, but why not try these safe healing herbs for cold and flu instead?
Its Cold and Flu Season!
Were headed into cold and flu season. So here at the farm Im stocking up both on what we need for our family as well as what I need to make for the families in my community. I wouldnt go into winter without a good supply of ginger and garlic. They are my go-to remedies when anything starts to creep up on us. Of course, not everyone can use my favorites.
Flu Vaccination During Pregnancy
The flu jab will protect both you and your baby.
Pregnant women have a much higher chance of developing complications if they get flu, particularly in the later stages of pregnancy. One of the most common complications of flu is bronchitis, a chest infection that can become serious and develop into pneumonia. Other complications are not common, but include:
- middle ear infection
- blood infection that causes a severe drop in blood pressure
- infection of the brain and spinal cord
- inflammation of the brain
- Inflammation of the heart muscle
Women who have had the flu vaccine while pregnant also pass some protection on to their babies, which lasts for the first 6 months of their lives.
The vaccine also poses no risk to women who are breastfeeding, or to their babies.
The flu vaccine is free for pregnant women as part of the National Immunisation Program.
Read more about what vaccinations are safe during pregnancy.
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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Is It A Cold Or The Flu
The best way to tell the difference between a cold and the flu is to take account of the typical symptoms.
- A cold is milder than the flu. Its symptoms come on gradually and typically you only run a low-grade to no fever. It generally starts off with a sore throat that goes away after a day or two, a cold ends with the main symptoms of a runny nose and cough.
- Influenza, commonly called the flu, is more severe and the onset is more sudden than a cold. Symptoms include a high fever , headache, chills, a sore throat that typically worsens by the second or third day, intense muscle soreness, and a general feeling of weakness and fatigue. These symptoms, along with sneezing and a cough, can last a couple of weeks or longer.
Using Herbs During Pregnancy
I was reminded this week that there are special conditions when using herbs. This requires a careful look at appropriate herbs. One of my past students, and a dear friend, is currently working on the project of getting pregnant. Feeling under the weather, she was stocking up on cold and flu remedies, and sent me a text. She is very well versed in the common remedies, but has been using my book, Conceiving Healthy Babies, to reference which plants might be best to avoid at this time in her life. Unfortunately, she left the book at home while shopping. As I began to put this list together for her I decided it would be a timely thing to share with readers here.
There are many herbs that are safe to use while trying to conceive, but become problematic once you are pregnant. Mainly these herbs are classified as emmenagogues or abortifacients. Ginger is an example of just such an herb. Many women have used ginger safely before and while pregnant, but it is all in the dose. Heavy use of ginger when first pregnant could potentially encourage a cycle when one is not wanted. It is important to differentiate where you are in the process of becoming pregnant when choosing your herbs.
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Pregnancy And Your Immune System
When you’re pregnant, your immune system is modified in ways that protect your growing baby. And the changes in your immune system evolve throughout your pregnancy.
Your susceptibility to certain illnesses may change during the course of your pregnancy. Studies suggest that you may be most likely to get sick during the first trimester and least likely during the second.
Why You Might Be Getting Sick More Often And What Treatments Are Safe
Monique Rainford, MD, is board-certified in obstetrics-gynecology, and currently serves as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Yale Medicine. She is the former chief of obstetrics-gynecology at Yale Health.
Pregnancy temporarily changes some aspects of your immune system function. These changes don’t protect you from certain infections, including the common cold. Getting sick when you’re pregnant is tough, and the effects of being sick can make it a challenge to eat well and get enough sleep. When you’re pregnant, you also have to avoid some of the medical treatments that are normally used to treat illnesses. Learn how to manage the common cold while you are pregnant.
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How To Treat Your Cold And Flu While Pregnant
Having the cold and flu while pregnant is the worst. What medications can you safely take?
You know that unpasteurized brie is a no-go during pregnancy, and those double martinis and oysters on the half shell are strictly verboten. But what about cold and flu medications? When you inevitably come down with a hacking cough, myriad aches and pains, and a serious case of the sniffles, what can you take? Here, our guide to navigating cold and flu season with a baby on board.
Get the vaccine
YOURE PREGNANT!Sign up to get weekly email updates on your baby »Influenzaa severe respiratory illness that causes fever, cough and congestionis not something to be trifled with. As Laura Magee, an obstetrician and clinical associate professor at the University of British Columbia, says, women who are pregnant and have the flu are at an increased risk of serious complications. And that list of potential repercussions includes pneumonia, kidney failure, swelling of the brain, premature labour and even death. An estimated 10 to 20 percent of Canadians becomes infected with influenza each year, causing upwards of 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths.
The good news is the vaccine is safe throughout pregnancy. Be sure, however, to request the injection, which is made from an inactivated virus, and not the nasal-spray vaccine, as thats made from a live virus and not recommended for use by pregnant women.
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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Safe Medicines During Pregnancy
Always check with your Womens Care physician if you have questions about taking medications during pregnancy. Listed below are a few recommendations for over-the-counter options that you may take while pregnant.
Medicated Allergy Eye drops not recommended during pregnancy may use Saline only
Medicated Nose Sprays not recommended during pregnancy may use Saline
Cold & Flu
Halls Menthol Cough Suppressant / Oral Anesthetic
Vicks VapoRub Cough Suppressant / Topical Analgesic
Cough & Cold: Cold Drops
Halls Menthol-Cough Suppressant / Oral Anesthetic Plus Medicine
Ricola Cough Suppressant Throat Drops
Vicks Menthol Cough Suppressant / Oral Anesthetic Drops
Cough & Cold: Sore Throat Relief
Cepacol Dual Relief Sore Throat Spray
Cepacol Sugar Free Extra Strength Sore Throat Lozenges with Pain Numbing Relief
Cepacol Maximum Strength Sore Throat Lozenges
First Aid: Anti-Itch Cream
Aveeno Active Naturals Anti-Itch Concentrated Lotion
Aveeno Calamine & Pramoxine HCl Anti-Itch Cream with Natural Colloidal Oatmeal Steroid Free
Benadryl Original or Extra Strength Itch Stopping Cream or Gel
Cortaid Anti-Itch Cream, Maximum Strength1% Hydrocortisone
Cortizone-10 Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Cream
Eucerin Calming Itch Relief Treatment
Gold Bond Medicated Body Lotion Extra Strength or Anti-Itch Cream
Lanacane Maximum Strength Anti-Itch Cream
Sarna Anti-itch Lotion
Pain Or Headache Relief
Acetaminophen is the drug of choice for pain during pregnancy. Its widely used with very few documented adverse effects.
If your pain is particularly severe after a surgery, for example your doctor may prescribe a short course of opioid pain relievers. When taken as directed, they may not affect fetal development.
That said, opioid use during pregnancy does carry the risk of withdrawal, called neonatal abstinence syndrome , after delivery.
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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
Safe Allergy Remedies During Pregnancy
- Oral antihistamines, like cetirizine , chlorpheniramine , diphenhydramine , fexofenadine , and loratadine seem to be safe. So does cromolyn sodium nasal spray and the steroid nasal spray Rhinocort, according to Web MD.
- Allergy shots: If you took allergy shots before pregnancy, your doctor might recommend you continue taking them. But do not start them while pregnant.
- Sudafed 30-60 mg every 4-6 hours can be used in the second and third trimesters in women without gestational hypertension. Avoid use in the first trimester and with breastfeeding. Sudafed PE should be avoided because of its uncertain efficacy and safety in pregnancy.
Allergy Medications to Avoid During Pregnancy
- Decongestants: During your first trimester, dont take decongestants by mouth, according to Web MD. Decongestants may make some birth defects more likely. Watch out for antihistamines combined with a decongestant. Because theres not enough evidence for their safety, avoid antihistamine nasal sprays.
- Mucinex, Mucinex D, Mucinex DM, and the extra-strength versions of each, because the six forms of Mucinex contain guaifenesin. Avoid taking any of these during the first trimester of pregnancy. However, they may be safe to use during later trimesters. Ask your doctor.
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Can You Take Antidepressants And Anti
There is mixed research about the safety of antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications for pregnant women. Some risks have been identified. For example, benzodiazepines are not recommended because they may cause problems like orofacial clefts, hypotonia, apnea, and feeding difficulties. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors have been linked to birth defects in some studies, but not others. Tricyclic Antidepressants may cause preterm births and other complications.
However, there are also risks to leaving a psychiatric disorder untreated. Women with depression are at increased risk of certain medical conditions, and they may not properly care for themselves during or after pregnancy. Its important for pregnant women to tend to their mental health so that they can properly care for the baby.
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.
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What Can You Take For A Cold While Pregnant
Pregnancy is a unique period where extra care and caution are required to protect the fetus you are carrying. Catching a cold or flu during pregnancy can always be severe because it may last three times longer. Pregnant women are more susceptible to the complications of a cold, such as pneumonia. However, a cold doesnt harm the fetus. There are many ways to avoid colds and have a healthy pregnancy. You may take over-the-counter treatment after consulting with the physician because these are generally safe. OTC medications for colds and flus include
- Saline nasal drops or spray
- Tylenol Sinus
- Tylenol Cold & Flu
Always be cautious about using these medications during the first trimester because this is the most crucial phase of fetal development. Always check with your physician before taking any type of medication. Antibiotics are not required in most cases. They must always be taken after talking to your doctor.
Some of the natural remedies to treat a cold during pregnancy include
Can The Flu Be Dangerous During Pregnancy
Being pregnant definitely puts you at greater risk for the flu’s more serious complications, like pneumonia. In fact, pregnant women are more likely to be hospitalized from complications of the flu than non-pregnant women of the same age .
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.
- Medically reviewed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, May 2018.
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, 5th edition, Heidi Murkoff.
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What Medications Are Safe During Pregnancy
If you are pregnant or are planning to be, one of the first questions youll have is, what medications can I take and which ones are not safe during pregnancy? For the best answer to this question, start by having a discussion with your doctor. Discuss what medications you are currently taking and be sure to follow his or her advice. In general, here is a list of common drugs that are safe during pregnancy.
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.
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The Guide To Managing Cold And Flu Symptoms While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
April 1, 2020 by Lauren Olvera
Theres a global pandemic right now.
The year 2020 will be remembered as the year of COVID-19. But if youre currently pregnant, its also the year your baby will be born.
Or maybe youve had a baby recently and youre still adjusting to this new little life youre responsible for, while worried about keeping them, your family, and yourself healthy.
At the moment, its hard to find anything besides coronavirus news splashed all over your social media. Pregnant and breastfeeding moms, parents of newborns, this is already a challenging time of transition in your life, even without a global pandemic!
Besides coronavirus, there are still plenty of other garden-variety colds, the seasonal flu , and even allergies to contend with this time of year. And being pregnant or breastfeeding while dealing with any of the above can be miserable. So whats a mom to do if she comes down with the crud?
We follow a few simple guidelines for managing cold, flu, allergy and hopefully keeping you away from urgent care or emergency department settings when possible.
*Disclaimer*: While these principles can help with comfort measures at home, they dont replace guidance from your healthcare provider who knows you best. Seek medical care for any worsening symptoms despite comfort measures, and ask your healthcare provider for specific recommendations for you.