Can you take cold and flu medicine while pregnant?
Cold medications are not well-studied for use during pregnancy. Some doctors suggest trying to wait until after your 12th week to minimize any potential risks to your baby. Safe options include: plain cough syrup, such as Vicks .
Home treatment of influenza and colds for pregnant women
One of the changes that may occur during pregnancy is that the immune system of a pregnant woman becomes weaker, and thus during this stage a woman becomes more susceptible to viral and bacterial infections.
Pregnant women are also more susceptible than non-pregnant women to complications from influenza, and these complications can include pneumonia, bronchitis, or sinusitis, so treatment should be done immediately before the disease develops.
Influenza and colds for pregnant women are treated at home according to the following first steps:
- Get enough rest.
- Drink plenty of fluids.
- Gargling with warm salt water, especially if you have a sore throat or cough.
If the symptoms are getting worse, then the treatment of influenza and colds for the pregnant woman needs to try the following:
- saline nose drops and spray; To loosen nasal mucus and soothe inflamed nasal tissues
- inhalation of hot steam, moist air; To help relieve a stuffy nose, a hot bath can help.
- eating chicken soup; To help relieve inflammation and loosen mucus.
- Drink a warm cup of decaffeinated tea with honey or lemon. To relieve a sore throat.
- use hot or cold water bags; To relieve sinus pain .
- Putting cold compresses on the body if the flu is accompanied by a high body temperature.
Treatment of influenza and colds for pregnant women with medicines
It is best for pregnant women to avoid all medications in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, as it is the sensitive period in which the vital organs of the fetus are being developed.
Many doctors also recommend caution against medications after 28 weeks of pregnancy, so it is advised that a pregnant woman speak with her doctor before taking any medication.
Many medications are considered safe after 12 weeks of pregnancy. These include:
- Ointments with a strong aroma, which are rubbed on the chest and under the nose in order to improve breathing.
- Nasal patches, which work to open congested airways.
- Cough drops.
- Acetaminophen (Acetaminophen) to relieve pain and treat pain and fever.
- Nocturnal cough medicine.
- Day expectorants.
- Calcium carbonate, such as: similar medicines to treat heartburn, nausea, or an upset stomach.
- Ordinary cough syrup.
- Dextromethorphan and dextromethorphan-guaifenesin for cough treatment .
It is recommended when treating influenza and colds for pregnant women to avoid medicines that combine a group of ingredients to treat many symptoms, instead it is preferable to choose medicines that treat each symptom separately.
It is also advised to avoid the following medications during pregnancy unless the doctor recommends them, as they lead to many disorders for the pregnant woman:
- Naproxen (Naproxen).
- Narcotics extracted from opium, such as: Codeine.
- Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic.
Ways to reduce the incidence of influenza and colds
After learning about home and medical methods of treating influenza and colds for pregnant women, let’s learn about ways to reduce the incidence of influenza and colds.
Getting vaccinated against the flu reduces the risk of infection and complications.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), getting vaccinated against the flu helps protect pregnant women and their babies for up to six months after giving birth.
Other things that a pregnant woman can do to reduce the risk of catching the flu and colds include:
- Get enough sleep.
- Exercising regularly, as there are sports suitable for pregnant women.
- Pay attention to washing hands frequently, preferably using soap every time.
- Avoid close contact with people who have the flu or other illnesses.
- Eat healthy food , as healthy food gives the body more strength to attack various infections.
- Stay away from stress and anxiety as much as possible, as they are the reason for reducing the body’s immunity, and thus the attack of viruses and microbes increases on the body.