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Cold Treatments in Pregnancy

Treating the common cold can be a bit tricky for a pregnant women. Instead of automatically selecting the easiest or most convenient treatment option, she instead needs to take careful consideration of how the treatment will affect her unborn baby.

Although some cold treatments are not recommended during pregnancy, there still are many different cold treatments available that are safe and can be considered. However, a pregnant woman should know all the facts about cold treatments in pregnancy so she can make an educated decision about which treatment to use.

Cold Treatments in Pregnancy



There are numerous misinterpretations about cool medicines in pregnancy. Some people believe any cold medication can be safely taken as treatment. However, the reality is that although some medications are less risky than others, there is no cold medication that has ever been clinically proven to be 100 percent safe during pregnancy. Another misconception is that cold medication is the only effective treatment for a cold. However, there are other natural options available that may be less risky during pregnancy for those women who prefer not to take any medication at all.


Natural Treatment Options

Not all cold treatments require medication. Humidifiers or warm steam from hot showers can help in the treatment of congestion. Saline nose sprays can make a stuffy nose feel better as well and are safe to use during pregnancy. Drinking liquids, especially hot water with honey or lemon, can help soothe a sore throat. In addition to these natural treatment options, perhaps one of the best options is to get plenty of rest.


Cold Medications

There are four major types of cold medications: antihistamines, expectorants, local anesthetics and pain relievers or fever reducers. Although some of these medications may be combined into one pill, each is used for a different purpose in the treatment of a cold. Antihistamines are used to dry up a runny nose, while expectorants are used to loosen the excess mucus and aid in the treatment of congestion. Local anesthetics help reduce pain at a particular place, such as throat lozenges for sore throats, while pain reliever and fever reducers work on the entire body.


Cold Medications to Avoid While Pregnant

Although no cold medication has been proven safe to an unborn baby, there are some cold medications that doctors know are harmful. The decongestants pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine have been shown to cause birth defects in some cases and may decrease blood flow to the placenta.Certain torment reliever or  fever reducers ought to likewise be maintained a strategic distance from. These include any nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as those containing aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen or sodium salicylate. Pain relievers or fever reducers containing these drugs have been shown to increase the risk of miscarriage, especially if taken in the first trimester.


Tips and Warnings

  • Although a pregnant woman can typically treat a cold herself, there are some circumstances where a doctor should be notified.
  • If a high fever accompanies the cold symptoms or if the symptoms are severe or unusual, a doctor should check to make sure that the symptoms are in fact caused by a cold and not something more serious.


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