Tips to treat a cold or a flu while pregnant

It’s definitely that time of year again with some of us in m&i HQ coming down with colds and touches of flu. While plenty of rest, a painkiller and hot drinks will usually have you feeling right as rain in a few days, the same can’t be said for women who are pregnant. What’s the best way to treat a cold or flu when you’re pregnant?

Medications

Before you were pregnant, it was easy to just take an over the counter pain relief, or decongestant to get yourself back to rights. But now that you’re pregnant everything you ingest will be passed on to your baby.

For the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, it’s best to avoid all medications. This is because your baby is working really hard to develop all their vital organs, and many doctors will recommend caution even after 28 weeks.

Some of the following medications can be used cautiously while pregnant, but always consult with your doctor or medical care team before taking anything.

  • Menthol rub
  • Cough drops or lozenges
  • Acetaminophen
  • Cough suppressant for night, and an expectorant for day
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Avoid the following medications while pregnant:

  • Ibuprofen
  • Aspirin
  • Codeine
  • Naproxen
Home remedies
  • Before you go to the pharmacy, try one of these home remedies to see if they can shift your symptoms.
  • Gargle with warm salt water
  • Up your intake of warm and cold fluids, add honey and lemon to relieve scratchy throat
  • Saline nasal drops or spray will help to clear sinuses
  • Chicken noodle soup (not just a myth!) can help to relieve inflammation and soothe congestion
  • Hot and cold packs on your head will help to relieve any sinus pressure you might have

If you want to take the flu vaccine in Ireland while pregnant, read the HSE website for more.

maternity&infant