Cold During Early Pregnancy

The chances of getting a cold in pregnancy are as common as they are at any other time. Dealing with cold can be a bit difficult while you are expecting. If you get a cold during your early pregnancy, getting relief from the symptoms is not the only thing that you worry about. You feel anxious about the health of the baby. Then will a cold really do harm to your baby? How can you treat your cold safely? Keep reading to find the answer.


Will a Cold During Your Early Pregnancy Hurt Your Baby?

The good news is that cold itself is not harmful for the baby. Many women have noticed that they become more susceptible to various illnesses the minute they fall pregnant. This is not an uncommon phenomenon. To protect the pregnancy, the body’s defense system is lowered so it does not identify the baby as a foreign object. This mechanism prevents the rejection of pregnancy but it also makes the new moms-to-be more vulnerable to many infections. Cold is one example in this case. But it is recommended to seek immediate medical advice if you develop high-grade fever.

How to Treat a Cold During Early Pregnancy Safely

1. Medical Treatment

According to medical research and guidelines, it is best to avoid all types of medication during early stages of pregnancy because all the organs are formed in the first trimester. Make sure to discuss with your doctor before taking any medicine if you are pregnant.

  • Medicines which are safe during early pregnancy are: Tylenol (Acetaminophen), Vicks VapoRub, Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant), Guaifenesin (an expectorant) or a combination of Dextromethorphan and Guaifenesin.
  • Medicines which are not safe during pregnancy are: Decongestants like Phenylephrine and Pseudoephedrine as they can reduce the blood flow to placenta. Any cold medicine containing alcohol is contraindicated during pregnancy.

2. Home Remedies

Following home remedies are very effective and safe to treat a cold in early pregnancy:

  • Garlic: Eating garlic greatly reduces the risk of getting colds and if you develop it, it helps to fight it off very effectively. Take a raw clove of garlic with every meal during pregnancy to keep cold away. You can have one every three to four hours if you develop a cold. 
  • Coconut Oil: Coconut oil has natural ability to fight with all sorts of infections. It is very effective against bacterial, viral and fungal infections, which makes it work well in treating cold during early pregnancy.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar: The best way to take apple cider vinegar if you have a cold is mixed with some water. You can gargle with it as well and it soothes the sore throat. It contains good bacteria which can effectively fight with infections.
  • Onion: Raw onions are rich in phytochemicals which help to keep the breathing passages open and greatly improve the symptoms of nasal blockage.
  • Lemon: Lemons are fully packed with vitamin C and have natural antibacterial properties. They also make the body more alkaline to fight the infections in a better way. You can mix lemon juice with some honey, sea salt and water and sip the delicious drink throughout the day.
  • Clear, Unsweetened Liquids: Maintaining adequate hydration is essential during pregnancy, especially if you catch a cold. It is advised to drink plenty of liquids like bone broth, lemonade, coconut water, herbal teas and electrolyte balanced drinks. Avoid sugar and caffeine laden beverages.
  • Homemade Chicken Soup: The nutritious and comforting chicken soup made with chicken broth, onions, celery and carrots is one of the most effective, tried and tested home remedy for a cold. You can add mushrooms, shredded chicken and sea salt for added benefits.
  • Warm Salt Water: Gargles with warm water mixed with some salt are very effective to relieve a sore throat.
  • Elderberry Syrup: This easily available syrup boosts the immune system and is extremely effective to treat the cough and other cold symptoms during pregnancy.
  • Honey: Honey is a really good cough suppressant. If you are having dry cough, you can try to take one or two tea spoons of honey mixed with some hot water and lemon juice for immediate relief.
  • Steam Inhalation: Steam greatly helps to reduce congestion and blocked nose. You can add a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
  • Humidifier: Having a humidifier close while you sleep improves breathing and reduces the severity of symptoms. It can greatly relieve cold during early pregnancy.
  • Saline Drops: Having a few drops of saline or salt water a few times in each nostril can improve nasal blockage.
  • Sleep Posture: Try to sleep in a propped up position. Put a few extra pillows or sleep in a recliner. This will keep the breathing passages open and you will be able to breathe easily.
  • Warm Shower: Have a warm shower. The warm water will soothe the aching muscles and it is also helpful to clear nasal blockage caused by mucus.
  • Rest: Nothing makes cold better than complete rest. Stay in bed, keep yourself warm, well hydrated and comfortable and you will soon feel much better. If you are having sinus pain you can use hot or cold packs to get fast relief.

When to See a Doctor

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Your temperature is more than 100.4°F.
  • You are unable to sleep or eat due to the symptoms.
  • There is yellowish or greenish phlegm coming out when you cough or sneeze.
  • You have any chest pain, wheezing or difficulty in breathing.
  • You have throbbing or severe pain in sinuses.

The cold generally gets better in a few days, if your symptoms are not getting better after a week, there are chances that you have developed bacterial infection and you might need prescription medication for further treatment.

How to Prevent a Cold During Early Pregnancy

You can avoid getting a cold during your early pregnancy by following these simple tips:

  • Try to avoid contact with anyone having a cold.
  • Wash your hands frequently, especially after you come in contact with someone having a cold.
  • Take care of your nutrition. Eat plenty of vitamin and antioxidant-rich vegetables, fruit and whole grains to keep your defense system strong.
  • Instead of caffeinated drinks, take plenty of herbal teas, fruit juice and water.
  • Do not take unnecessary stress and get plenty of rest.
  • If you smoke, it is the best time to quit for the health of your baby.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle and do regular exercise.
  • The body needs a lot of extra minerals and vitamins during pregnancy. Take a supplement which is specifically designed to meet the needs of a pregnant body.
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