When you’re pregnant and sick with a cold (or flu), you’re miserable and with few choices for relief.
Doctors advise moms-to-be to stay away from all medications, unless it’s absolutely necessary, because medicine (both over-the-counter and prescription) can cross the placenta and potentially harm your developing baby. There is no 100 percent safe medication in pregnancy. Some are safer than others, however, but you still run the risk of the medicine affecting your unborn baby.
So, what options do you have when you’re pregnant with a cold?
You have homeopathic and natural remedies to help fight off your cold symptoms and boost your immune system. Try these 7 natural remedies to help fight off your cold and feel better faster.
7 Natural Remedies
1. Rest and Lots of Liquids
When you’re sick, nothing is better for your immune system than rest and lots of hydration. Drinking plenty of fluids keeps you hydrated, which is a good thing in pregnancy. Hydration can help reduce your risk of miscarriage, constipation, preterm labor, and even decrease water retention. Another perk of hydration when you have a cold – it keeps the mucus membranes in your noise moist, which helps your body fight off viral infections.
Water is your best ally when you’re fighting a cold. If you don’t like the taste of water, you can also try herbal teas – like ginger and peppermint tea, which are safe to drink in pregnancy and offer soothing relief for your tummy, too. Freshly squeeze orange juice or lemon juice is also a good choice. They are packed with vitamin C, which may help boost your immune system.
2. Get Lots of Vitamin C
To strengthen your immune system a boost, you may want to take 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C during a cold. It may help shorten the duration of the illness. Make sure that you stock up on vitamin-C foods, like oranges, strawberries, red berries, red and green bell peppers, Brussels sprouts, and spinach.
3. Try Echinacea
Echinacea is also helpful when you are trying to fight off a cold. This herb is known for its infection-fighting properties. Taking echinacea at the first sign of a cold can sometimes make your symptoms less severe, and it may help the cold go away faster. There are a number of studies that indicate that taking echinacea for cold symptoms can greatly decrease the severity of the illness. This herb is considered safe in pregnancy.
4. Use a Zinc Lozenge
Zinc is beneficial in two ways. During pregnancy, zinc will keep your baby safe in your womb. In fact, zinc deficiencies have been linked to causing miscarriage, preterm labor, and even some birth defects. When you’re sick with a cold, zinc can help shorten the duration of your illness.
According to recent scientific studies, using a zinc lozenge within 24 hours of the first cold symptoms can reduce the length of your cold by one day. Zinc works by stopping a rhinovirus (which causes 80 percent of all colds) from reproducing.
5. A Bowl of Warm Chicken Soup
Your grandmother’s remedy of rest and chicken soup actually will help you feel better. It’s a scientific fact. According to researchers, the ingredients in chicken soup work together as a natural anti-inflammatory, which can help stop mucus production and help fight off the common cold much faster.
Although store-bought chicken soup will help you feel better, homemade is better. The chicken in the soup is packed with zinc; carrots have beta-carotene; garlic and onions have antiviral properties; and the chicken broth give you plenty of hydration.
6. Use a Humidifier
Cold viruses love dry conditions. That’s why people tend to get sick during the winter, when there is less moisture in the air. Because dry air can dry out the mucus membranes in your nose, it makes you more prone to stuffy noses and sore throats.
Instead of taking decongestants or other cold medications, pregnant women can ease their cold symptoms by using a humidifier. A humidifier can make the air in your room moister and help you feel better faster.
7. Add Garlic to Your Meals
Garlic is nature’s antibiotic, and it can actually help you beat the common cold faster. Garlic contains a natural antibiotic and anti-fungal called allicin, which is a substance that can help fight against colds and other illnesses. Raw garlic is highest in allicin, but you can also just flavor your meals with garlic.
During pregnancy, garlic is considered safe.
Although having a cold during pregnancy isn’t the most comfortable experience, it’s usually a short-lasting illness. Most colds last less than a week. If your symptoms last longer than seven days, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor and schedule an appointment. Sometimes, colds can turn into bacterial infections, which need medical treatment.