You have a cold while pregnant – it’s not going to be fun, and dealing with any sickness while having an unborn child is difficult. Your body has already done it’s best to adjust to the baby growing inside of you.
And you’re dealing with intense hunger, morning sickness and a slew of other pregnancy-related issues no woman wants to discuss.
Can’t you get a break?
Pregnant and Sick With a Cold
There are a lot of unknowns for a mother-to-be. If you weren’t pregnant, you might just go to your nearest pharmacy and grab some cold medicine off the shelves. But now you have a lot of questions about what you can take that won’t hurt the baby.
Will the symptoms hurt your baby?
Your mind will go into overload, but it’s important to sit back and relax; you and your baby will survive.
What Can I Take for a Cold While Pregnant?
Always avoid all-in-one medications while pregnant. These cold remedies, while pregnant, may not be your best option because they do provide risk of complications. In fact, always contact your doctor to ensure the medicine you take will be safe for you and your child.
Single, cold-focused medication is what you’ll want to take when pregnant. But you may want to wait out the cold and avoid all medication, too, depending on when your cold presents. A good rule of thumb is:
- Avoid medication before the 12-week mark has passed
- Avoid medication after the 28-week mark
So, you’ll have 4 months, or 16 weeks, in which you can take medicine confidently without fear that you’ll become sick or harm your child in the process.
A few of the medications that are safe to take (always consult with your doctor first) are:
- Cough syrup
- Cough drops
- Nasal strips
- Menthol rubs (Vicks works well)
- Cough suppressant
Zicam and Zinc for Women With a Cold While Pregnant
1. Can I Take Zicam While Pregnant?
It’s best to avoid Zicam while pregnant. Is Zicam safe during pregnancy? It depends on who you ask. Zicam products that are applied to the nose should be avoided, and the United States has banned these zinc-related compounds from the U.S.
2. Can I Take Zinc While Pregnant?
Zinc is safe by mouth in normal levels found in food. Your baby will need zinc, and this is important for cellular growth. The issue is when you take too much zinc, as this can cause side effects.
Having too little zinc can cause complications in:
3. How Much Zinc is Too Much?
If you’re like me and most women, you wonder how much of anything is too much. You can never be too safe while pregnant, so if you want to know how many mg of zinc per day is ideal, the following will help:
12 mg per day for women 18 and younger
11 mg per day for women 19 and older
Keep in mind that a vitamin contains zinc, so you may be getting all you need from a prenatal vitamin.
So, while you can take zinc while pregnant, you’ll also find that there are a plethora of foods that contain zinc in them already. You may be able to get all the zinc you need naturally, and this is ideal because you don’t need to worry about fillers and overdoing your intake.
4. What Foods Have Zinc?
Many of the foods you eat will have zinc in it, and this includes:
Oysters also contain zinc, but you need to be careful when eating oysters raw, as this can cause pregnancy complications. Food-borne illnesses can pass to the fetus, and this can cause severe side effects.
Since 1984, researchers have been talking about zinc for colds, and the results are a mixed bag. Zinc lozenges have shown to reduce a cold by an average of one day. Studies also show that zinc can help prevent a person from getting a cold.
Zinc may help stop the rhinovirus from multiplying and causing a cold to spread.
Zinc, in large amounts, may also cause:
- Nervous system damage
But these are extreme cases where the person ingested a lot of zinc.
5. How Much Zinc Is in Zicam?
Zicam products are known for being a cold remedy, and you’ll find everything from fruit drops to nasal swabs and melts. The zinc content in each is different, and formulas change often. The issue is that the company often doesn’t state how much zinc is included.
The active ingredients are:
- Zincum aceticum
- Zincum gluconicum
5 Cold Remedies While Pregnant
Zinc isn’t the only cold remedy while pregnant, and there are a lot of other options that may be safer to take at this time.
1. Take Nothing
The ordinary cold is comprised of one of more than 200 different variations of the common cold. You can take medicine to
reduce the symptoms of a cold or shorten the cold’s durations, but you can also just take nothing.
A cold will not cause harm to your child.
And unless you have an immune issue or you are already sick, you can normally let the common cold take its course and be fine afterward.
2. Use a Humidifier
Did you forget that you had a humidifier hiding away in the closet? This happens to everyone, and it may be the one thing to help you breathe better at night. Run the humidifier to help open the nasal passages.
The humidifier will open the nasal passages and clear out mucus.
3. Eat Local Honey
Many people don’t know that local honey can combat allergies and will also suppress coughs. You can take a few teaspoons of honey on a spoon and eat it away, and it will help to suppress your cough, coat the throat and allow you to feel better faster.
A lot of pregnant women find that eating honey helps as much as cough syrup – minus all of the chemicals.
4. Gargle Saltwater
A little bit of saltwater can go a long way to alleviating the pain of a sore throat. What you want to do is:
Add 1/4 tsp salt
8 ounces of warm water
Put these ingredients into a cup and mix will. Then, you just need to gargle the mixture and wait for it to start alleviating your sore throat symptoms.
5. Eat Garlic
Garlic may leave you with bad breath, but it will also help to fight the virus causing your cold. If you’re a brave soul, you can eat garlic plain, but I recommend adding it into your food. A soup, which is great for colds already, can have garlic added to help boost taste and alleviate your cold at the same time.
6 Signs That It’s Time to Call a Doctor
Your nose is running, you have a nasty cough and now you’re really feeling ill. The doctor may be your only option at this point because you need to know your baby is going to be safe. A few signs that it’s time to contact your doctor are:
- You can’t eat normally
- You’re tossing and turning all night
- Wheezing and chest pains are causing severe discomfort
- You have a fever of 100F or higher
- Symptoms have lasted 10+ days
- You have severe cases of vomiting
I am a person who likes to let my body heal itself, but there does come a time when you need to sit down and evaluate the situation. If you find that any of the points above are valid, you need to go see a doctor.
The best thing that you can do is ensure the safety of yourself and your child.
While the body is miraculous in its own way, that doesn’t mean the stress of having a baby and the sickness that you have doesn’t warrant at least a checkup. Your doctor may tell you to stay off medication and that the cold will pass, or the doctor may tell you that it’s time to take some medicine.
In either case, you’ll know that you did everything in your power to keep your baby safe and healthy.
Remember, when you’re sick, you’ll also want to make sure that your fluid intake is increased. Excessive fluid intake will help to break up the mucus in your throat and will ensure that you remain hydrated if you’re vomiting. Warm liquids count, too, including a good cup of tea.