You are currently viewing Home Remedies for Colds During Pregnancy: Self-Care Tips & Foods You Can Eat to Help You Feel Better Fast!
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Being sick is never fun – but it can be especially challenging and worrying for new moms-to-be who also must think about keeping their babies safe and healthy. Pregnant women are more likely to get sick with a cold during cold and flu season due to pregnancy hormones lowering their immune systems to protect the growing foetus from the body’s natural defence mechanisms. Luckily, it is very unlikely that a mere cold will harm a foetus in any way, so long as both mom and baby are otherwise healthy.

While not generally cause for concern, a cold can be extremely exhausting and unpleasant for a pregnant person. You will probably be tempted to take something to help fight the cold or flu symptoms – but beware! Pregnant women, especially during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, are advised by medical professionals to completely avoid ingesting any medications as this may put the foetus in danger! Even after a woman has passed this 12-week mark, they should first consult a doctor before consuming any medications. To be extra safe, avoid taking medications altogether and instead try out the home remedies for colds during pregnancy that we will be discussing in this article.

For both your peace of mind and safety reasons, we will begin by talking about ‘safe’ cold symptoms versus ‘dangerous’ cold symptoms to watch out for. That way you know whether to see a doctor or to try these remedies at home. Finally, we will give you some super easy, completely natural cold remedies that are completely safe for pregnant-mommies-to-be. These will be in the form of some easy self-care tips and foods you can eat that will have you feeling better fast!

What is the difference between a cold and the flu?

Let us begin by discussing how to tell whether you have a cold or the flu. Understanding this difference will give you a better idea of what to expect while you are sick and will help you know which symptoms are normal and which you should be worried about! There are many similarities between colds and flu, for example, in both cases you are likely to experience a cough or runny nose. However, a cold last for about 3 days and is much milder than the flu. The flu, on the other hand, can last for up to 14 days and be accompanied by symptoms such as chills and fatigue.

When Should You Visit a doctor?

‘Safe’ cold symptoms for pregnant moms:

Having a cold or the flu can be uncomfortable, exhausting and leave you feeling run-down. However, colds are generally not dangerous for either the pregnant mom or her baby. The common cold (otherwise medically known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection) may produce symptoms such as a dry or wet cough, runny nose or nasal congestion, sore throat, and sneezing. These symptoms are normal for a sick pregnant person to experience. While there is no cure for a cold, these symptoms can be managed at home with proper rest, nourishment, and plenty of fluids. However, there are times when colds may cause a secondary infection which can cause serious complications with the pregnancy. There are some symptoms you should be on the lookout for if you are unsure whether to visit a doctor urgently.

‘Dangerous’ cold symptoms for pregnant moms:

Below we will indicate which symptoms you need to look out for and should not try to treat at home! If you experience these symptoms, seek advice from a medical professional as soon as possible!

These symptoms include:

  • * A fever that reaches above 101F
  • *Chills
  • *Difficulty breathing
  • *Chest Pains
  • *Dizziness
  • *Confusion
  • *If sickness interferes with sleep or eating
  • *If you are coughing up greenish/yellowish mucus
  • *If you experience sinus throbbing
  • *Decreased foetal movement
  • *Severe Vomiting
  • *Vaginal bleeding.

You should also see a doctor if symptoms persist for longer than 14days, or if symptoms keep getting worse as these are indicators of a secondary infection. However, if you are not experiencing these symptoms – we have good news! You can relax and try some of our super-simple home remedies for the cold during pregnancy to help you feel better that much faster.

Home Remedies for Colds During Pregnancy:

Self-Care Tips:

There are many things you can do alone at home to help you manage those pesky cold symptoms! If you are experiencing a cold or the flu, begin with…

#1) Taking it easy: Rest!

This tip is just as easy as it sounds. Pull the covers back and climb back into bed because getting some extra sleep, taking a couple of naps, and simply allowing your body time to rest will help you heal that much faster. Limit any unnecessary movement or activities and try to avoid anything that causes you to feel stressed. This includes taking time away from exercising and work.

#2) Drinking plenty of fluids: Hydrate!

The next easy self-care tip we have for you is to try to take in as much liquid as you can – preferably about 64 ounces, 2 litres or 8 glasses of liquid. You can consume this in the form of water, juice, tea or soup – as long as you are staying hydrated as this will help to thin out mucus and relieve congestion. Drinking something cold may be painful if you are struggling with a sore throat. Instead, consider having hot beverages like ginger tea with honey or vegetable soups.

#3) Relieve congestion: Breath easy!

There are several things you can do to help you relieve congestion and breathe easier. Firstly, try out a humidifier or standing in a hot shower with plenty of steam. Breathing in humid air is excellent for soothing congestion and providing temporary relief. A humidifier is great as you can keep it on right next to your bed while you rest and can also add essential oils like peppermint or tea tree oil for further congestion relief.

Another way to help your congestion is by doing a saline rinse a few times a day or using saline nasal drops. These will help to loosen mucus and allow you to breathe easier. (I am a big fan of the saline rinse as it clears out a stuffy nose almost instantly and can be quite relieving if you are feeling extremely stuffy and tired of blowing your nose!)

4) Avoid certain foods!

It may sound like no fun at all – but when you are sick, you should stay away from processed foods, foods that are fried, sugary foods or those made with refined flour, dairy products and any foods made with wheat. These kinds of foods are all responsible for straining the immune system and increasing mucus production. Instead, you should try to eat organic foods, plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables (for example, bell peppers, strawberries, lentils, almonds spinach, mangoes, carrots), whole grains, nuts, ginger, and garlic. These foods will build up your immune system and help you fight off your cold symptoms much faster!

5) Take your vitamins!

Last but certainly not least, make sure that you are taking in plenty of vitamin C, zinc and iron to help strengthen your body’s immune system and help it fight off infection. You can get all the vitamins that you need by taking a prenatal vitamin which has these, as well as vitamins A, D and E as well as selenium which are other effective immune system boosting ingredients.

Easy Cold Remedies That You Can Make and Eat at Home:

1) Classic Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is an excellent source of vitamins and nutrients which have anti-inflammatory properties to help your body fight infections. It also helps with thinning mucus, soothing sore throats and helping you keep hydrated! Soups and broths are also gentle on your stomach and easy to eat if you do not have much of an appetite! Make sure to include some garlic and vegetables in your recipe.

2) Ginger

Ginger is excellent for reducing inflammation, helps soothe sore throats, helps with phlegm and is antibacterial so it may help your body fight off a cold. You can consume ginger in several ways – you can boil it to make tea, chew on it or take it in the form of a pill. Ginger tea is best with lemon or honey and can be combined with cinnamon, cayenne pepper powder, garlic, or sea salt to make a brew that has numerous cold-fighting properties. Check out some recipes here.

3) Pineapple (Juice)

Pineapple has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. The juice of the pineapple can be especially effective as a cough suppressant due to an enzyme called bromelain which helps to thin mucus in the sinuses and chest and is also a good remedy for a sore throat. You can combine pineapple juice with a pinch of salt and pepper and 1-2 tablespoons of honey to make a natural cough remedy at home. A spicier version of this remedy also calls for some ginger, lemon juice and cayenne pepper.

4) Apple (cider vinegar)

We have all heard the saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” and there is truth in that! Apple cider vinegar – made of fermented, crushed apples – is another great natural remedy for cold symptoms. Drinking a spoonful of apple cider vinegar in some warm water a couple of times a day helps alkalinizes the body making it difficult for the virus to thrive. It also contains potassium, which is effective for thinning mucus, acetic acid which prevents the growth of bacteria, and malic acid which is a good anti-viral. The acidity of apple cider vinegar may also help to loosen phlegm. You can also try combining a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of raw honey and 1/4 cup of hot water to make an excellent sore throat remedy.

5) Turmeric

Turmeric, much like ginger and garlic, is known as an herbal remedy used to treat symptoms of colds. The active ingredient in turmeric is called “curcumin” which has excellent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties which help support the immune system in fighting off viruses. When combined with other anti-inflammatories – such as ginger – it helps to improve immune functioning and aid recovery. Turmeric can be combined with warm milk and black pepper and then drunk twice daily, or it can be used as a gargle to help treat a sore throat.

 Important note regarding turmeric as a cold remedy for pregnant women: it is best to avoid the use of turmeric supplements or alternative medicine. Turmeric, the spice, is considered safe but no other forms of turmeric are recommended for pregnant women. Do not consume it at all if you have any pre-existing allergies to turmeric.

To Sum It All Up…

Nothing feels worse than being sick, except being sick while pregnant. Your body is already going through a lot growing a new human and the stress of a cold can leave you feeling worn out and run down. While there is no cure for a cold, you can strengthen your immune system and manage your cold symptoms to feel better. Luckily, there are some easy and simple ways to do just that like in today’s article where we have discussed home remedies for colds during pregnancy.

Some of the remedies involve self-care such as simply allowing yourself time to rest, staying hydrated, taking your vitamins, and avoiding the wrong foods. Other home remedies for a cold are chicken soup, pineapple juice, ginger, turmeric, and apple cider vinegar. Be sure to try out some of the foods, either alone or combined with honey as a drink to make your recovery a speedy and successful one!

But remember! If you experience any of the dangerous cold symptoms mentioned above, you should seek immediate medical advice! Do not try to manage the symptoms at home as any of these symptoms may indicate that either you or your baby are in distress, seriously ill or that there are complications with the pregnancy.

 Get better soon!

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