Safe Home Remedies for Cold and Flu During Pregnancy

Edited by Donna, Eng, Anonymous

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The general advice from doctors to pregnant women is to avoid all medications during the first twelve weeks of pregnancy. Naturopaths and some doctors will also recommend staying away from medications until the 28 week point in your pregnancy. All in all it is probably a good idea to stay away from medication as much as possible during your entire pregnancy if and treat any flus or colds that you have using the most natural methods available to you.

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It is best to avoid as much flu and cold medication as you can throughout your pregnancy in order to have a healthy baby.Photo by Anna Kosali - Wikicommons

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For Decongestion

  1. 1
    Run a humidifier, preferably one with warm mist, in your room.
    If you do not have one, steam yourself in the shower or place bowls of water on radiators to keep the air in your room moist. This helps soothe irritated chest membranes.
    An example of a warm mist humidifier.
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  2. 2
    Prop yourself up on a few pillows when you sleep.
    This can help prevent mucus from flowing up into your throat and nose and making you cough. The problem with coughing is that it wakes you up and makes it harder to doze.
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  3. 3
    Rub a dime sized bit of mentholated rub, such as Vicks or Tiger Balm and tuck it under your pillow to help clear congestion.
    After twelve weeks of pregnancy it is considered safe to use these ointments on directly on your chest but to be safe consult with your doctor first.
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  4. 4
    Eat a bowl of chicken soup with plenty of chopped up garlic added to it; the garlic is antiviral and antibacterial and the steam from the soup will help clear your lungs and nose.
    Chicken soup relieves cold and flu symptoms naturally.
    Photo by Magnus Manske.
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For A Stuffed Up Nose

  1. 1
    Use a facial steamer or hot mist humidifier to relieve stuffiness by bending over it with a towel over your head.
    You can also get the same effect by filling a bowl with boiling water and leaning over it and sniffing.
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  2. 2
    If your nose is stuffy stay away from medicated nose sprays and decongestants and instead use a salinated water to moisten and decongest your nasal passages.
    You can also rinse out your nasal passages using a Neti pot, which looks like a tiny teapot that you fill with salt water and use to irrigate your nose by pouring it your upper nostril and letting it drain out the opposite nostril.
    A woman irrigating her nostrils with a Neti Pot
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  3. 3
    Drug stores sell nasal strips that can be place over the nose and used to expand clogged airways so you can get a better night's sleepless.
    Examples of nasal strip that are applied to the bridge of the nose to ease breathing.
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For A Sore Throat

  1. 1
    The safest treatment for a sore throat is a saltwater gargle, which is made with one quarter teaspoon of salt in ounces of very warm water.
    Stir this mixture before you gargle with it for best results.
    A salt water rinse is a safe way to relieve the pain of a sore throat.
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  2. 2
    To ease a sore throat that tickles mix and tablespoon of apple cider with warm water and gargle with that.
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  3. 3
    Mix hot water with honey and lemon and drink to soothe irritated throat tissues.
    Hot lemon drinks help to relieve a sore throat and congestion.
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To Stop Coughing

  1. 1
    Prop yourself up on a few pillows when you sleep.
    This can help prevent mucus from flowing up into your throat and nose and making you cough. The problem with coughing is that it wakes you up and makes it harder to doze.
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  2. 2
    Place a hot water bottle behind your upper back to help decongest the back and lower sections of your lungs and ease muscle soreness from coughing.
    A water bottle's moist heat can placed on the back can help relieve coughing and muscle soreness.
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  3. 3
    Suck on cough drops to help remedy the cough but choose herbal brands that have very little sugar in them and no pharmaceutical cough suppressants.
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  4. 4
    Robittuson and Vicks cough syrup are widely considered to be safe to take after 12 weeks of pregnancy but it is best to consult with your doctor before you take any cough syrup while you are pregnant.
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To Ease a Headache

  1. 1
    Make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of pure spring water a day as that can help eliminate headaches.
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  2. 2
    A room spray made from essential oils such as eucalyptus, rosemary and/or peppermint can help ease the pain of a cold or flu bug-induced headache.
    You can also put a few drops of the oil on a tissue and put it under your pillow to take advantage of the therapeutic healing properties of these oils which include calming, decongesting, antibacterial, disinfectant and anti-viral actions.
    An organic room spray mist with mint an eucalyptus can help ease a headache and clear congestion. Photo: Timmersgems.com
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NOTE – Do not take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or aspirin while you are in any stage of pregnancy.

For Sore Muscles and Joints

  1. 1
    Take a brief hot shower to help ease up the neck pain and shoulder pain that often accompany a bad cold, plus the steam from the shower will help congest your nasal passages.
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  2. 2
    Take a long soothing bath in Epsom salts to help ease your sore joints and muscles.
    Epsom is a type of salt that has a detoxifying and relaxing effect on the body.
    Epsom salts help soothe the aches and pains associated with a cold or flu
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NOTE – Do not take Naproxen (Aleve) to relieve muscle or joint pain at any stage of your pregnancy.

To Prevent and Treat Nausea

  1. 1
    Chew or suck on candied ginger or ginger candies to help settle your stomach; they will also help soothe a sore throat
    Crystallized ginger can help quell nausea as well as soothe a sore throat.
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  2. 2
    Drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it.
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  3. 3
    Sip on slightly flat ginger ale mixed with a great deal of ice to encourage your upset tummy to settle down.
    Gingerale can help settle an upset stomach.
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  4. 4
    A glass of lemonade made with real lemons, spring water and a bit of sugar can help settle a stomach
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  5. 5
    After 122 weeks you can consider using Mylanta, Tums or Gravol for an upset stomach but be sure to consult with your doctor first.
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To Lower A Fever

  1. 1
    A cold cloth or an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel that is placed on the forehead may help lower a fever.
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  2. 2
    Sipping on ice chips can help keep you hydrated as well as lower your body's core temperature.
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  3. 3
    If you have a fever of 98 degrees or higher you must try and lower it right away by taking one 200 gram Tylenol or one 200 gram Acetaminophen and going to bed immediately and rest; you may take another pain reliever four hours later.
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'IMPORTANT NOTE – If your temperature does not lower within four hours you do not get results then go to the hospital as a high body temperature is not healthy to a developing child; do not attempt to take more pain relievers as consultation with a medical professional is required. You may be required to be treated with an anti-viral medication'.

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To Relieve Fatigue and Exhaustion

  1. 1
    The very best thing you can do to relieve the fatigue and exhaustion of the flu is to simply go to bed and rest until you feel better.
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  2. 2
    Stay warm as a body that is battling cold temperatures is not using it's vital energy to fight off bacteria and viruses.
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  3. 3
    Drink fresh squeezed orange or grapefruit juice to up your intake of vitamin C and energize your body.
    Orange juice keeps you hydrated and contains Vitamin C (which helps fight colds.) Photo -USDA.
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  4. 4
    Drink 100% pure coconut water, which has a similar pH level to human blood, to stay hydrated and alkaline; an alkaline body is better able to ward of disease.
    A can of coconut water.
    Photo by MartyK90.
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  5. 5
    A cold pack applied to the back of your skull where it meets the neck can help relax and soothe your entire muscular system and put you to sleep.
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  6. 6
    If you are tired because you have spent too many days in bed trying to get better you might benefit from going outside and taking a brisk walk around the block.
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Prevention Is The Best Cure of Flu and Colds During Pregnancy

You can do several things to avoid getting sick in the first place;

  • Stay away from anyone who is sick with a flu or a cold!
  • Avoid sharing plates or cutlery while pregnant and keep a set aside for your exclusive use
  • Wash your hands often and after every trip to the washroom and after physical contact with anyone
  • Don't share your towels with anyone
  • Get enough sleep
  • Eat a nutritious diet consisting of the foods that your doctor recommends for you
  • Take any supplements that your doctor recommends for you as instructed
Washing your hands prevent you from catching a flu bug.

Tips and Tricks

  • When adding garlic to hot soups, salsa and beverages remember to chop it up to release the allicin compound that has the beneficial anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties
  • Be cautious when bending over anything that emits hot steam, whether it be a facial steamer or hot mist vaporizer because if you get too near the hot steam you could end up burning the skin on your face
  • If you do not have a hot mist humidifier you can still run a cold air humidifier as any moisture in the air is better than none at all, especially in the winter when air seems to be very dry
  • It is best to stay away from applying any essential oils directly to the skin when you are pregnant and instead inhale them
  • Stay away from colas, caffeinated teas and coffee as they can be overstimulating to your nervous system; as a pregnant woman you need lots of peace and rest to get better
  • If you have gestational diabetes then do not add honey to the lemon and hot water drink as honey may have too much sugar in it for your body to handle and do not drink fresh squeezed juices as they are to sweet for you
  • Do not use any cold or flue remedy including cough syrups, pills or sprays without talking to your doctor first
  • Avoid buying "all in one" medications that remedy several symptoms at once as it is easier for you to accidentally take in an ingredient that might accidentally harm your developing baby; buy remedies that address a singular system to avoid interactions and reactions to drugs
  • If you have problems with any of these steps, ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.

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Categories : Physical Health | Family

Recent edits by: Eng, Donna

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