When you are pregnant, your immune system will most likely change. As a result of these changes, you are prone to colds or coughs at some point during your pregnancy.
The good news is that while you may feel tired, the symptoms of a cold or cough are usually harmless to your baby. However, it is important to take the necessary measures to avoid catching a cold or cough during pregnancy and to treat it if you catch it.
How to speed up healing flu and cough during pregnancy
according to American Pregnancy, Here are natural cough remedies to avoid and speed up healing of colds and coughs during pregnancy.
1. Get enough rest
Take a nap, sleep through the night, and sit down to relax. This is a great way to give your body some much-needed rest. Learn more about the importance of bed rest during pregnancy.
2. Drink lots of fluids
Drink water, juice, or broth to add the necessary fluids back to your body.
3. Eat well
Even if you can’t eat more food, try to eat small portions but often enough.
4. Reduce nasal congestion
Place a humidifier in your mother’s room. Then keep your head on the pillow while resting.
5. Relieves sore throat
Drink warm tea, or gargle with warm salt water.
It is best to reduce the number of over-the-counter medications you take. Many of the medications that you usually use to treat cold symptoms are not safe to take during pregnancy.
Illustration of natural cough medicine for pregnant women/ Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto/shurkin_son
Cough medicine for pregnant women
Mothers should avoid all types of drugs in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. That is a critical period for the development of your baby’s vital organs. Many doctors also advise caution after 28 weeks. Talk to your doctor before taking any medication if you are pregnant or trying to get pregnant.
Reported from healthline, some medications are considered safe after 12 weeks of pregnancy. This includes:
- Apply menthol on the chest, temples, and under the nose
- Nasal strips, which are sticky pads that open blocked airways
- Cough medicine or throat lozenges
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol) for aches, pains and fever
- Cough suppressant at night
- Expectorant during the day
- Calcium-carbonate (Mylanta, Tums) or similar medication for heartburn, nausea, or stomach pain
- Ordinary cough syrup
- Dextromethorphan (Robitussin) and dextromethorphan-guaifenesin (Robitussin DM) cough syrup
It’s better if you avoid drugs all-in-one which combines ingredients to treat many symptoms. Instead, choose a single medication for your symptoms.
You should also avoid the following medicines while pregnant unless recommended by your doctor. The following medicines increase the risk of problems:
- Aspirin (Bayer)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn)
- Bactrim, antibiotics
Home remedies for colds and flu during pregnancy
When you fall ill during pregnancy, the first steps you should take are:
- Get plenty of rest.
- Drink lots of fluids.
- Gargle with warm salt water, if you have a sore throat or cough.
If your symptoms worsen, you can try:
- Saline nasal drops and sprays to loosen nasal mucus and soothe inflamed nasal tissues
- Breathe in warm, moist air to help loosen a stuffy nose; a steamer, or even a warm bath can help relieve
- Chicken soup, to help relieve inflammation and relieve congestion
- Adding honey or lemon to a cup of hot tea decaffeinated tea can soothe a sore throat
- Using hot and cold compresses to reduce sinus pain
In addition, other things you can do to reduce your risk of getting sick include:
- Wash your hands often
- Enough sleep
- Eat healthy food
- Avoid close contact with sick family or friends
- Exercise regularly
- Reduce stress
When should you call the doctor?
While most coughs don’t cause problems for an unborn baby, flu with coughs and colds should be taken more seriously. Complications of the flu increase the risk of premature birth and birth defects. Seek immediate medical help if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Difficult to breathe
- Chest pain or pressure
- Vaginal bleeding
- Severe vomiting
- High fever that is not relieved by acetaminophen
- Decreased fetal movement
The CDC recommends that pregnant women with flu-like symptoms be treated with antiviral drugs. However, if you are in doubt, contact your doctor immediately.