Growing a baby and adapting to your changing body is hard enough when you are fit and healthy, so when a cough or cold strikes it can make you feel completely overwhelmed and miserable! In addition to the normal cough and cold symptoms you also have to try to figure out what medicines, or treatments, you can use whilst you’re pregnant! Hopefully I can make this part of your struggle a little bit easier by explaining what actions you can take to make yourself feel better and which medicines you need to avoid!
Natural ways to feel better if you have a cough or a cold!
- Rest as much as you can! Basically early nights, naps, the works! Ok so this isn’t always practical, and you may well be trying to mind other children or work whilst unwell, but do take every opportunity you can to sit down and take it easy!
- Eat a healthy balanced diet and consider prenatal vitamins if getting enough nutrition in has become a challenge! I have a review of the best pregnancy vitamins available by clicking here!
- Drink lots of fluids – especially water. This can help you to keep hydrated and can also help to thin out thick congestion which in turn can help alleviate coughs and blocked noses!
- Steam glorious steam! Honestly it’s just the best thing as is such an effective way to condition and soothe the airways and also break down stubborn mucus! You can use steam by filling a basin with hot water (be careful not to burn yourself) and by holding your head over the basin with a towel over your head so that you breath the steam in slowly and deeply. An easier way to use steam therapy is by using a steam humidifier over night such as this one I have reviewed here!
- If you are suffering from recurrent coughs and colds the Salin Salt Therapy device would be suitable and would helpfully improve your sleep and reduce the risk of coughs or colds – you can read all about it here!
What about medicines?
Taking medicines during pregnancy does come with a certain amount of responsibility as it is important to remember that some medicines can be dangerous as can pass in unsafe amounts through the placenta to your unborn baby. So with this in mind it is always a given that medicines should only be taken in pregnancy if necessary.
Which Medicines can be used during pregnancy?
- Paracetamol – This is the safest choice during pregnancy and is not known to be harmful so long as you only take it at the lowest needed doses and for the shortest possible duration. It can be extremely useful for a pregnant mum is suffering from a high fever or a lot of pain. Always read the packet and if you need this medicine for longer than a few days ensure to discuss it with your doctor.
- Ibuprofen – Avoid this during pregnancy. Your doctor may prescribe during your second trimester in some cases but in general products which contain ibuprofen such as nurofen, nurofen cold and flu, easofen, sudapro etc should not be taken to treat pain or fever associated with a cold during pregnancy.
- Decongestants – such as pseudoephedrine should be avoided during pregnancy.
- Cough Rememdies – Most of these should be avoided. Safe cough bottles include ‘glycerine honey and lemon’ and Venos Honey and Lemon.
- Antihistamines – These should be avoided unless your doctor prescribes them for you. Your doctor would need to discuss the risks and benefits of treatment with you.
- Nasal sprays – Many of these need to be avoided but what was a real life saver for me during my pregnancies was the A.Vogel Sinuforce nasal spray which contains menthol, chamomile and eucalyptus oils. This product alleviates sinus pain and congestion and is safe during pregnancy!
I hope you have found this article helpful and if you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to contact me by sending a private message to the WonderBaba facebook page or my website contact page or by calling me (Sheena) at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 on 012600262.
Medicines complete – BNF, Drugs in Pregnancy and Lactation, Martindale.