Safe Home Remedies for Cold and Flu During Pregnancy
Edited by Donna, Eng, Maria Quinney
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.
- 1 For Decongestion
- 2 For A Stuffed Up Nose
- 3 For A Sore Throat
- 4 To Stop Coughing
- 5 To Ease a Headache
- 6 For Sore Muscles and Joints
- 7 To Prevent and Treat Nausea
- 8 To Lower A Fever
- 9 To Relieve Fatigue and Exhaustion
- 10 Prevention Is The Best Cure of Flu and Colds During Pregnancy
- 11 Tips and Tricks
- 12 Comments
- 2Prop 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.
- 3Rub 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.
For A Stuffed Up Nose
- 1Use 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.
- 2If 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.
For A Sore Throat
- 2To ease a sore throat that tickles mix and tablespoon of apple cider with warm water and gargle with that.
To Stop Coughing
- 1Prop 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.
- 3Suck on cough drops to help remedy the cough but choose herbal brands that have very little sugar in them and no pharmaceutical cough suppressants.
- 4Robittuson 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.
To Ease a Headache
- 1Make sure you are drinking at least eight glasses of pure spring water a day as that can help eliminate headaches.
- 2A 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.
NOTE - Do not take Ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or aspirin while you are in any stage of pregnancy.
For Sore Muscles and Joints
- 1Take 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.
NOTE - Do not take Naproxen (Aleve) to relieve muscle or joint pain at any stage of your pregnancy.
To Prevent and Treat Nausea
- 2Drink a glass of water with a teaspoon of baking soda in it.
- 4A glass of lemonade made with real lemons, spring water and a bit of sugar can help settle a stomach
- 5After 22 weeks gestation you can consider using Mylanta, Tums or Gravol for an upset stomach but be sure to consult with your doctor first.
To Lower A Fever
- 1A cold cloth or an ice pack wrapped in a thin towel that is placed on the forehead may help lower a fever.
- 2Sipping on ice chips can help keep you hydrated as well as lower your body's core temperature.
- 3If 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.
'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'.
To Relieve Fatigue and Exhaustion
- 1The 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.
- 2Stay warm as a body that is battling cold temperatures is not using it's vital energy to fight off bacteria and viruses.
- 5A 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.
- 6If 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.
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
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