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How to Treat a Cold or Flu in Pregnancy


Updated May 16, 2014

Sick Pregnant Woman

Having a cold or flu while pregnant is never fun.

Photo © Dreamstime

Getting a cold or even the flu when you're pregnant isn't an impossibility. In fact, it could be your reality. But don't panic, here are some things that you can do to feel better faster:

  • Stuffed up?
    Try nasal rinses, like the store bought saline solutions. This will help you clear your congestion. You can also go into your bathroom and run the shower on high heat, but don't get wet - just allow the steam to penetrate clogged sinus passages.

  • Stay hydrated.
    Even if you don't feel like eating, be sure to stay well hydrated. When you can eat try to eat well.

  • Rest.
    While sleeping may be difficult, try to lay down and rest. If you can sleep, try to get a nap. If you are having difficulty breathing when lying down consider propping yourself up with some pillows to ease your breathing.

  • Sore Throat
    If your throat hurts, tea can be very comforting to your sore throat. You can also add honey for added comfort.

  • Medications
    Be sure to check any over the counter medications or herbal remedy with your doctor or midwife before taking it. While some may be safe for pregnancy, others are not. Your practitioner is the best judge of whether or not a product is safe for you to consume in pregnancy. For instance, you are usually able to take acetaminophen, but not ibuprofen or aspirin.

While you can't prevent every cold or sniffle, remember that the best offense is a good defense. Wash your hands, avoid people who are ill and take care of yourself by eating well and getting enough rest.

Readers Respond: Will you get a flu shot in pregnancy?

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