Dealing with cold and flu during pregnancy may seem confusing but is very manageable if you know what to do. The first sign of a sniffle will probably have you reaching for your go-to medications but if you’re currently pregnant, you’ll want to make sure everything you use is safe for you and your baby.
Some common and seemingly harmless products may cause some negative side effects for expecting mother. This is why many moms-to-be look for alternative treatments and choose to use a combination of natural remedies and pharmaceutical products during their pregnancy.
Pregnancy-safe natural remedies
Natural remedies are great options that can be used whether or not you’re pregnant. They often aren’t as potent as pharmaceuticals but offer more gentle relief for cold and flu during pregnancy.
Here are some common natural remedies for cold and flu symptoms:
- Honey has natural antibacterial properties and can be used to soothe a sore throat.
- Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties to help relieve nausea and vomiting.
- Chicken soup can help alleviate congestion and other cold symptoms.
- Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can boost the immune system. These can be obtained from fruits such as oranges, kiwis, and strawberries as well as from a supplement.
- Eucalyptus oil can be used as a natural decongestant. Simply add a few drops to a diffuser or hang eucalyptus leaves in the shower where the hot water will release the oils to be inhaled.
It is important to remember that natural remedies should not replace medical treatment, and expecting mothers should always consult with their healthcare provider before using any natural remedies.
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As pregnant women are generally excluded from clinical trials for safety reasons, there is a limited number for medications considered safe for expecting mother to use.
Here are some commonly used medications that are safe for cold and flu during pregnancy:
- Paracetamol (Panado) is considered safe to take during pregnancy and is often recommended to relieve fever, headaches, and other minor aches and pains.
- Nasal saline spray is a mixture of salt and water which is considered safe for use during pregnancy to help alleviate nasal congestion.
Your doctor or healthcare provider may prescribe you other medications. These decisions are made at an individual level and they will take into consideration your medical history and the severity of your symptoms as well as the potential risks and benefits of the treatment.
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Medications to avoid during pregnancy
While these medications are considered safe to use normally, they can cause potential harm to pregnant women. Avoid using these and look for alternatives.
Painkillers such as Ibuprofen (Neurofen) and Aspirin (Disprin) are not recommended for cold and flu during pregnancy. While it is particularly important to avoid use during the third trimester, it is better to refrain from using these medications throughout your pregnancy. While they are considered safe to use normally, they can have a negative impact on your baby’s development so it is best to use suitable alternatives.
Read more: The Ultimate Childbirth Checklist
Additional measures for expecting mothers
In addition to taking medications and remedies, here are some other steps you can take in order to help manage the symptoms of cold and flu during pregnancy. These simple steps include:
- staying hydrated by drinking lots of water
- getting plenty of rest every night and taking naps where possible
- using a humidifier to help break up nasal congestion
It is important to always check with a healthcare provider before using any medications, remedies or treatments during pregnancy. This is to ensure the health and safety of both your and your baby during your pregnancy.
Our Zoie Health professionals are ready to assist you in finding the best treatment options to keep you and your baby safe. To book a hassle-free virtual consultation today, click here.