12 Most Effective Home Remedies for Cold During Pregnancy

Experiencing a cold during pregnancy can be particularly challenging. While you want relief from the discomfort, you also need to consider the safety of any remedies you use for both you and your baby. Luckily, several safe and effective home remedies can help alleviate cold symptoms without posing risks to your pregnancy. In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of colds during pregnancy and provide you with a comprehensive guide to home remedies for finding relief.

Understanding Cold and Its Symptoms

A cold, also known as the common cold, is a viral infection that affects the nose and throat. Symptoms of a cold during pregnancy are similar to those experienced when not pregnant and may include:

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Sneezing
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Mild headache
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever

Why Do You Catch A Cold During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy weakens the immune system to protect the developing fetus, making pregnant women more susceptible to infections like the common cold. Additionally, hormonal changes can contribute to nasal congestion, making cold symptoms feel more severe.

1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of fluids is essential for staying hydrated and can help thin mucus secretions, making it easier to clear congestion. Opt for water, herbal teas, and clear broths to keep your body hydrated and flush out toxins.

2. Take Prenatal Vitamins

Ensuring you’re getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals is crucial during pregnancy, including when you have a cold. Prenatal vitamins can help support your immune system and promote overall health, aiding in your body’s fight against the cold virus.

3. A Hot Soup

Enjoying a hot bowl of soup can provide comfort and relief from cold symptoms. Chicken soup, in particular, has been touted for its immune-boosting properties and ability to ease congestion, making it an excellent choice for pregnant women battling a cold.

4. Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice contains bromelain, an enzyme known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Drinking pineapple juice can help soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages, providing relief from cold symptoms.

5. Humidifier

Using a humidifier in your bedroom can add moisture to the air, helping to alleviate dry nasal passages and ease congestion. Opt for a cool-mist humidifier to ensure safety during pregnancy and clean it regularly to prevent the growth of mold and bacteria.

6. Ginger

Ginger has long been used as a natural remedy for colds and flu due to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties. Sipping on ginger tea or adding fresh ginger to meals can help soothe sore throats and alleviate nausea, a common symptom of colds during pregnancy.

7. Bed Rest

Rest is essential for allowing your body to fight off the cold virus effectively. Take the opportunity to rest and recuperate, as pushing yourself too hard can prolong cold symptoms and potentially impact your overall health during pregnancy.

8. Turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound known for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Adding turmeric to your meals or drinking turmeric tea can help reduce inflammation and support your immune system during pregnancy.

9. Salt Water

Gargling with salt water can help soothe a sore throat and reduce inflammation. Mix a teaspoon of salt into a glass of warm water and gargle several times a day to alleviate discomfort and promote healing.

10. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another natural remedy that can help alleviate cold symptoms during pregnancy. Mix a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with warm water and honey to create a soothing drink that can help ease congestion and soothe a sore throat.

11. Saline Nasal Spray

Using a saline nasal spray can help flush out mucus and relieve nasal congestion safely during pregnancy. Look for a saline spray specifically formulated for pregnant women to ensure it’s free from any potentially harmful ingredients.

12. Elevate Your Head

Sleeping with your head slightly elevated can help alleviate nasal congestion and make breathing more comfortable. Use extra pillows to prop yourself up or invest in a pregnancy pillow designed to provide support and elevation while sleeping.

Medications

According to most OB-GYNs, it’s advisable to steer clear of medications, especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This period is critical for the development of a fetus’s vital organs, and exposure to certain medications could potentially pose risks. Therefore, if you’re pregnant or attempting to conceive and are currently on medication or contemplating taking any, it’s essential to have a conversation with your healthcare provider.

Fortunately, there are medications deemed safe to use after the initial 12 weeks of pregnancy. These include:

  • Topical menthol: Often used for relief from nasal congestion or muscle aches.
  • Nasal strips: Helpful for reducing nasal congestion without the need for medication ingestion.
  • Cough drops or lozenges: Soothe sore throats and provide relief from coughing.
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Generally considered safe for managing aches, pains, and fevers during pregnancy.
  • Cough suppressant at night: Helps control coughing to promote better sleep.
  • Expectorant during the day: Aids in clearing mucus from the airways.
  • Calcium-carbonate (Mylanta, Tums): Provides relief from heartburn, nausea, or upset stomach.
  • Plain cough syrup: Offers relief from coughing without containing potentially harmful ingredients.
  • Dextromethorphan (Robitussin) and dextromethorphan-guaifenesin (Robitussin DM) cough syrups: Safe options for addressing cough symptoms.

It’s crucial to avoid all-in-one medications that combine multiple active ingredients to address various symptoms. Instead, opt for single medications tailored to the specific symptoms you’re experiencing.

Furthermore, certain medications should be avoided during pregnancy unless explicitly recommended by your doctor due to the increased risk of complications. These include:

  • Aspirin (Bayer)
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
  • Codeine
  • Bactrim (an antibiotic)

If you have concerns about medication use during pregnancy or are unsure about the safety of a particular medication, don’t hesitate to consult with your healthcare provider. 

When Should I Call My Doctor?

While most colds during pregnancy are mild and resolve on their own, certain symptoms warrant a call to your healthcare provider. Contact your doctor if you experience:

  • Fever higher than 100.4°F (38°C)
  • Severe or persistent headache
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Decreased fetal movement

Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms and guide the best course of action to ensure both you and your baby remain healthy.

In conclusion, while dealing with a cold during pregnancy can be uncomfortable, there are several safe and effective home remedies you can use to find relief from your symptoms. By staying hydrated, getting plenty of rest, and incorporating natural remedies like ginger, turmeric, and saline nasal spray into your routine, you can help alleviate cold symptoms and support your overall health and well-being during pregnancy. Always consult with your healthcare provider before trying any new remedies or medications to ensure they’re safe for you and your baby.

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