Treating Cold or Flu During Pregnancy

Flu and Cold During Pregnancy

Colds During Pregnancy – Everything You Should Know

Pregnant women catch a cold at one point or the other during pregnancy. Common cold must surely happen during the nine months of pregnancy, which is due to hormonal changes and other changes in the immune system. Regular seasonal colds are common respiratory complaints made by pregnant women in the USA. Several cases of the common cold are reported annually. During pregnancy, the delicate state of the body makes it mandatory to know what to do to treat common cold during pregnancy.

Learning how to treat common cold during pregnancy is essential to pay to keep baby and mother healthy. There are so many factors to be considered when treating or trying to prevent common cold during pregnancy. In every case, seeking professional medical help is very important. Let us quickly learn how to handle this common but inevitable problem when it occurs.

What is the Best Way to Treat Cold During Pregnancy?

Since the common cold is a regular occurrence during pregnancy, it is only right to know the safest ways to treat the condition when it occurs. The regular treatment for colds is to buy standard medication over the counter, but this is not to say we should discard our doctor’s advice or the advice of a pediatrician. Self-medication is and will always remain dangerous in all situations. Your safety and that of your baby are of utmost priority at every stage of pregnancy. The body is delicate during this period, so the issue of medication must be handled delicately. Taking medications may not be an entirely reliable choice during pregnancy because they can negatively or positively alter the body. The major function of the medication used for cold is to treat the symptoms associated with the condition. We will consider the medication that is safe during pregnancy, and those that must be avoided. We should also know when it is best to consult a doctor.

Must I Relate My Common Cold Symptoms to Pregnancy?

There is a thin line between the symptoms of pregnancy and the symptoms associated with common cold. This similarity is because of the hormonal changes that accompany pregnancy, especially at the early stage. Morning sickness, which is one of the most frustrating aspects of pregnancy, activates so many other conditions in the body, and we all want to get it over with as soon as possible. A popular example is the nasal passage blockage, which occurs due to the hormonal changes in the nasal interior. The blockage of the nasal passage generates headaches and other symptoms associated with the common cold. If this condition occurs in isolation, don’t conclude that you have a common cold. There are several symptoms associated with the common cold.

Hoarseness, dry cough, sneezing, sore throat, and runny nose are just some of these symptoms. If all these symptoms occur simultaneously, or almost at the same time, you most likely have a common cold.

Is it Safe to Use Pain Relievers to Treat Cold During Pregnancy?

If pain is left untreated during pregnancy, the consequences might be severe. If pain persists for a long time, blood pressure instability, hypertension, stress, and some of the symptoms associated with depression, are all conditions that may be expected if the pain is left untreated for a while. It would be best to keep in mind that the FDA recommends using pain relievers during pregnancy only by a healthcare provider or physician’s supervision. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also known as NSAIDs, Ibuprofen, and Acetaminophen, are common over-the-counter drugs recommended for pregnant women to treat pain.

Studies carried out on the use of prescribed pain relievers during pregnancy has provided some interesting results. There are so many risks associated with the use of these drugs. For instance, acetaminophen during pregnancy has shown to increase the chances of ADHD in children. The use of opioids, even though prescription during the first week of pregnancy, increases congenital disabilities in children. NSAIDs are also known to cause miscarriage in the early stages of pregnancy. All these risks mentioned must be consciously avoided by pregnant women. There is no end to research, and currently, we have to continue to study how these drugs interact with pregnancy at different stages.

The inconsistencies in some of the studies carried out and the limitations surrounding these studies have shown that we cannot rely entirely on one particular study to draw all our conclusions.

Medical professionals are still debating on what is usually best to use for pain during pregnancy, and this is why it is recommended that you consult a medical professional before taking any pain reliever.

How Safe is it to Use Cough Suppressants During Pregnancy?

There are so many over-the-counter medications used for treating cough during pregnancy. These medications are considered to be safe for mother and baby. A good example is Dextromethorphan. Herbal throat lozenges and methylated are other drug-free alternatives that are equally effective for cough and sore throats and are recommended for consideration before using drugs.

How Safe Are Anti-Histamines for Treating Cold During Pregnancy?

According to a review conducted and published in the journal of pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics, there is no antihistamine medication currently in circulation, which should be considered safe for use by pregnant women. Drugs like cyproheptadine and chlorpheniramine cause certain temporary symptoms in pregnant women and should be avoided. It is important to mention that these symptoms are not known to cause congenital disabilities in children. We cannot overemphasize the need to always check with your doctor before using any of these medications.

Is it Safe to Use Decongestants for Colds During Pregnancy?

Pregnant women have reported different experiences from using decongestants during pregnancy, which makes decongestants’ recommendation as a medication for cold a bit complex. All in all, when taken orally, these decongestants are considered safe for pregnant women, but like we always recommend, rely on a physician’s advice always, make your final decision on what to use and what not to use during pregnancy.

What are the Natural Remedies Available for Cold During Pregnancy?

The risks associated with drugs and medication for colds during pregnancy make natural remedies safer and attractive for pregnant women. Before you opt for those tablets that carry a gift and a curse, some easily accessible non-medicinal home alternatives can be tried at home. It is very important to keep your fluid levels on point by taking around 9 to 10 glasses of water daily to flush out all the toxins, causing the body to produce those unwanted symptoms. You should not limit your fluid intake to water alone, as you may also go for fruit juice, smoothies, etc. These are rich in so many nutrients that the body needs for optimum performance and access essential minerals.

Pregnant women should also endeavor to observe adequate rest, particularly when suffering from a cold because it helps the body manage the symptoms of a cold better. To improve your breathing and alleviate stuffy nose, you can elevate your head while resting or lying down.

Some pregnant women prefer to use humidifiers to relieve a stuffy nose and cough. Warm compresses applied directly to the sinuses, shoulders, and head also reduces pain and congestion. In severe cases, the use of saline nasal sprays, and nose drops, helps to moisten the nasal passage and allow for the easy elimination of accumulated fluids. These products are not medical and are completely safe for use among pregnant women.

An old trick that never really gets old is gargling warm salt water to relieve the cold symptoms, especially sore throat. You can also create your homemade cough syrup by mixing some lemon squeeze with some hot water and some teaspoons of honey.

How Can You Prevent Colds During Pregnancy?

Having colds, especially during pregnancy, is inevitable, and there is no 100% sure remedy for this condition. However, certain healthy habits and precautionary measures can be imbibed to boost the immune system and minimize the occurrence of colds when we are pregnant. Aside from having adequate rest, eating a well-balanced diet is very important to keep the immune system in its best form.

Try to incorporate natural foods, especially one that is rich in fruits and vegetables, because you are feeding yourself and taking care of your baby. Fresh fruits and vegetables are the most reliable source for those minerals and vitamins that builds the immune system and helps the body fight off so many diseases effectively.

You must also source some prenatal supplements such as Zinc, Vitamin C, and folic acid, especially at the early pregnancy stage. These essential minerals are not just important for mother and child. They also help to prevent colds while building up the immune system.

Another easy but reliable way to prevent the common cold is through regular hand washing. Nothing has made this habit more important than the devastating Covid-19, which has wreaked severe havoc globally since 2019 and still does in 2020. We cannot entirely avoid public places or touching public items like doorknobs. Yet, by washing our hands regularly with soap, warm water, or using an alcohol-based sanitizer, we can protect ourselves from the common cold its associated symptoms.

What Consequences are Associated with Colds During Pregnancy?

Having a cold is a very frustrating condition, and it doesn’t matter whether we are pregnant or not. However, when we are pregnant, it is a more precarious situation because we are usually supposed to be selective with what we eat, drink, and the medications we take during this period.

We must avoid self-medicating for starters. We must also confirm beyond a reasonable doubt that what we have is the common cold and not some other condition like Flu, which also has similar symptoms.

Unlike the common cold, Flu comes with more severity and will usually occur with accompanying fever. Once the common cold comes with fever, don’t attempt to diagnose yourself but quickly reach out to a medical doctor for professional advice.

What are the Risks of Cold for the Developing Baby?

Since a mother and the developing embryo share the same body during pregnancy, it is only right for us to be worried about our baby’s safety when we have a cold.

There is usually no cause for alarm as our immune system is set up to handle mild conditions like the common cold. Without any form of treatment, the symptoms of colds will naturally disappear within two weeks. Even during the duration of this illness, the symptoms occur temporarily and only come and go.
As we already explained, we have to be sure that what we are experiencing is the common cold because certain conditions and infections may seriously affect the baby. You must consult a doctor if you think you are suffering from fever, high temperature, or any severe or mild infection.

According to cdc.gov, an external study from 2018 revealed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with flu by an average of 40 percent. Pregnant women who get the flu are more likely than women who don’t get it to have preterm labor, which usually occurs before 37 weeks of pregnancy, and premature birth, which is birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to marchofdimes.org. All these points to the need to take precautionary measures against cold and Flu. Also, if you find yourself coughing up discolored phlegm or suffering from a cold for more than two weeks, quickly consult with a doctor to secure not just your health but that of your baby.