Cold, Flu in Pregnant: Medications and Natural Treatments

Cold, Flu during Pregnant: Medications and Natural Treatments

If pregnant and feeling sick, before reaching for that bottle of cold or flu medicine, check and see if it is safe for the baby. Consulting a care provider is a good idea.

When pregnant, the baby will be exposed to everything the mother is exposed to. This implies that if sick with a cold or flu the baby can get exposed to the cold or flu virus, but also to any sort of medication taken by the mother.

 In the case of most viruses, the pregnant woman has to wait for her immune system to fight the infection. Over-the-counter medications can rather help soothe one’s symptoms while waiting.

Cold, Flu in Pregnant: Medications and Natural Treatments

Feeling sick in Pregnancy

Not all over-the-counter medicines are rather safe to take during pregnancy. Certain medications may indeed hurt the baby or cause problems for the person, such as increasing one’s blood pressure.

Using such a quick list of pregnancy-safe natural cold and flu remedies and over-the-counter medications initially helps. Reading the directions on the package for any kind of medication is important. It is also a good idea to discuss with one’s doctor or midwife before taking a cold or flu medication.


Natural, Pregnancy-Safe Remedies

Before trying any medications, there are natural remedies that may find adequate relief first. Few risks are here and precautions can be taken in the form of natural remedies like:

  • Cold, Flu in Pregnant: Medications and Natural Treatments

    Stay hydrated during pregnancy

    Gargle warm salt water

  • Getting as much restful sleep as possible
  • Sipping honey in hot water
  • Staying well hydrated
  • Using nasal saline sprays
  • Trying a humidifier

While not all herbs as well as supplements are safe in pregnancy, the woman can take  safely:

  • Vitamin C
  • Manuka Honey
  • Zinc
  • Elderberry

Talk with one’s doctor or midwife before taking any supplements or trying at-home remedies or essential oils during pregnancy.

If natural remedies do not provide relief, considering these pregnancy-safe medications helps.

Pregnancy-Safe Cold and flu Medication

It is better to avoid taking medications whenever possible. If required, follow the package directions carefully. Talking with one’s doctor or midwife before taking medication during pregnancy.

Cold, Flu in Pregnant: Medications and Natural Treatments


These over-the-counter medications are indeed considered safe for most pregnant patients:

  • Acetaminophen(Tylenol)
    • Safe during of course the entire pregnancy.
    • Take only as per requirement.
    • Try to limit regular exposure.
    • Not safe if allergic to it or even have liver problems.
  • Pseudoephedrine(Sudafed)
    • Safe in the second as well as third trimesters
    • Not safe in the first trimester on account of a small risk of abdominal wall birth defects
    • Not safe if having high blood pressure (hypertension) or a history of heart disease
  • Chlorpheniramine(Chlor-Trimeton)
    • Safe during pregnancy.
    • Not safe if breastfeeding.
  • Diphenhydramine(Benadryl)
    • Safe throughout one’s pregnancy.

Watch out for extra ingredients. Several cold and flu medications treat more symptoms than a person may be experiencing. For example, Tylenol Cold Multi-Symptom does treat headaches, fever, body aches, cough, stuffy nose, chest congestion, and many more. If having just a stuffy nose, this is more medication than required.

Antibiotics: Few sinus infections are rather treated with antibiotics. In general, pregnant patients need not take antibiotics unless it is necessary. Make sure one’s healthcare provider knows about pregnancy if he or she is prescribing antibiotics.

Medications to Avoid in Pregnancy

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medications can harm the developing baby. Avoid NSAIDs like:

  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • Celecoxib (Celebrex}
  • Naproxen (Aleve, Midol)
  • Aspirin (Bayer), unless the doctor or midwife prescribes daily low-dose aspirin.

Avoid taking these medications as well during pregnancy.

  • Benzocaine (throat lozenges/throat sprays)
  • Codeine (a pain and also cough medication)
  • Phenylephrine (i.e., Sudafed PE): adversely affects the fetus.


A runny or even a stuffy nose along with other symptoms of cold can cause extreme discomfort to pregnant women, and taking over-the-counter medicines is not considered safe either.

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