I am pregnant and I have a cold, what do I do?
During pregnancy, everything that happens to you affects not only you, but the baby that grows inside you. That is why many doubts arise regarding diet, lifestyle habits or even medications.
And it is that, although, in another stage of your life, when you noticed symptoms of a cold, you resorted to analgesics or a nasal decongestant to alleviate the symptoms; During pregnancy, you should think twice and always follow the criteria of your doctor.
And, although drugs can relieve symptoms and make you feel better, they can also reach the baby through the placenta, therefore, it is convenient to know how to treat cold in pregnancy and in what more natural ways you can alleviate the symptoms.
Cold during pregnancy, how to act?
The recommendation of health experts regarding medications in pregnancy is to avoid them during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, unless you have a previous condition that requires treatment in which case, you should consult with your doctor about how to proceed.
The first three months of pregnancy are critical for the development of the baby’s vital organs, and it is also the most difficult stage since it is when there is a higher percentage of miscarriage.
After those first 12 weeks, doctors are also cautious and recommend caution. In fact, if you look at the leaflet for any medication, even cough drops, it has a special section for pregnant and nursing mothers.
In this way, before taking paracetamol, ibuprofen or an aspirin as you used to do when you had a cold, consult your obstetrician to assess your situation and make the appropriate recommendations.
Although it is never correct to self-medicate, in pregnancy it is even more necessary to follow this guideline.
In many cases, although it is not advisable to take medication, the symptoms it causes and its effect on the baby are worse than the drug itself, therefore, your doctor may prescribe certain medications to treat diseases such as the common cold. However, we reiterate that it must be your obstetrician who will tell you which is the most appropriate drug and in what quantity.
Home remedies to treat cold in pregnancy
If even if your doctor prescribes some medicine for the cold and you prefer to follow home remedies to alleviate the symptoms, you can perform these natural treatments:
Get plenty of rest
If you can take a day or two off, do it. You will be better at home, resting than, at work feeling the rigors of pregnancy along with those of a cold.
If you can’t stop working, at least when you get home, try to relax and spend most of your time at rest. Recovery from a cold will be faster if you give yourself the opportunity to lie in bed resting.
Drink lots of liquids
It is important that you are well hydrated throughout the pregnancy even without having a cold, but if you have a cold, it affects even more, especially if you have a fever. Also, away from cough syrups, doctors recommend drinking plenty of water to treat coughs.
Gargle for a sore throat
If you notice a sore throat, you can gargle with water and salt or water and baking soda. You can also drink warm milk with honey, or have an infusion of thyme, honey and lemon. They are natural remedies that soothe and calm.
Use a humidifier
When you have a cold, put a humidifier to maintain an optimal humidity level in the room. It will help you to maintain also at night, especially if you have a cough.
Maintaining a suitable temperature in the room and also having the humidifier on at night, can improve the sensation of dryness in the throat and in the mouth.
Chicken soup for congestion
Chicken broth is a very useful remedy from our grandmothers if you have a sore throat and congestion. By getting hot, it will help open the airways and you will breathe better.
Chicken broth is an inexpensive and easy-to-prepare dish with a comforting effect. A study carried out by the University of Nebraska (USA) revealed that homemade chicken broth prevents the movement of cells of the immune system called neutrophils. It is a type of white blood cell that defends us against bacterial infections and also promotes the release of mucus.
If symptoms of cold get worsen, then you might want to try:
- breathing warm, humid air to help loosen congestion; a facial steamer, hot-mist vaporizer, or even a hot shower can work.
- Pineapple Juice is great help if someone caught with cold it contains a strong anti-inflammatory property called bromelain. This enzyme helps with respiratory problems by calming a cough due to a cold and helps soothe a sore throat. It may also help break up and expel mucus. It is also important to drink plenty of water to assist in breaking up mucus and expelling it out of your body.
- Turmeric has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries to treat numerous ailments, such as colds, coughs, and nasal inflammation. It is known to support your immune system, helping your body fight viruses.
- Using hot and cold packs to alleviate sinus pain.
- Saline nasal drops and sprays to loosen nasal mucus and soothe inflamed nasal tissue.
- 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.
Ways to Boost Your Immune System to Prevent a Cold
Some simple measures can prevent you from catching a cold during pregnancy, and thus have to avoid discomfort:
How do I prevent getting a cough or cold during pregnancy?
Eat clean, well-cooked food, and make sure you maintain your weight within the limits advised to you. Regular light exercises such as walking or stretching are good for your body. Get enough sleep and take your vitamins as prescribed. Wash your hands regularly with clean water and soap. Avoid contact with someone who is suffering from flu, cold, or cough. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Avoid touching your face without washing your hands.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Eat a healthy and nutritious diet
- Get enough rest
- Avoid high levels of stress
- Get regular moderate exercise
- avoiding close contact with sick family or friends
- If someone in your environment has a cold, avoid contact.
When should I call my doctor?
Call for immediate medical help if you experience the following symptoms:
- High Fever
- Decreased Fetal Movement
- Breathing Difficulty
- Chest Pain
- Vaginal Bleeding