Getting a cold while pregnant

Get practical advice on how to avoid and deal with a cold while you're pregnant
Last updated: May 16, 2019

Getting a cold is a pretty normal thing, it is something that every one of us has experienced some time or another. Still, as with many things, what may seem normal and safe during everyday life may be a little bit scarier to someone who is pregnant. This fear is perfectly normal and is something that most pregnant women can agree on. While there is some truth that you have to be more careful with getting colds when you are carrying a child, properly educating yourself can help elevate the stress and keep you both safe. 

Should you be concerned with getting a cold when pregnant?

Generally, a cold is nothing to worry about. Your health is of upmost importance when ensuring the safety of a baby, however, colds themselves are not a big deal. People get colds, it happens -even to people obsessed with their health (hypochondriac). You aren’t doing anything wrong and there’s likely nothing you could have done to avoid this.

While a basic cold is nothing to worry about, you do have to try your best to make sure it stays just as that. Colds are easy to handle, but if they are not addressed properly, could lead to many other problems that can pose a threat to your unborn child. 

No, this doesn’t mean that your cold directly turns into something, rather, it weakens the immune system and makes you more likely to fall victim to other (more dangerous) illnesses. This can lead you to feel even worse or also land you in the hospital and compromise your baby’s health. Although this is more often than not unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to limit the chances of this happening. You need to make sure that you take the time to give yourself some rest to avoid this. Colds do take a toll on your body, and this means that you need to take extra care not to push yourself. 

12 Tips to prevent a cold while pregnant 

1. Take care of your body

A healthy body is a happy body. There are a number of reasons why it is always beneficial for you to keep yourself healthy, but pregnancy is a critical time to adopt a healthy lifestyle. This can mean a number of different things for different people.

2. A balanced diet

It is very important to make sure that you are eating healthy, and for a pregnant woman, this can mean a lot. Sure, this means avoiding the things you are not supposed to consume while pregnant (such as raw fish and alcohol). However, this means trying to avoid those unhealthy junk foods and eat all the recommended fruits and veggies. 

3. Hydrate 

Drink, drink, and drink! You need to avoid dehydration and give yourself all the water you need. 

4. Exercise

Pregnancy may limit a lot of your physical activities, but this doesn’t mean you should eliminate your exercise completely (unless specified by a doctor). Keeping yourself in shape is a great way to stay fit and even help you with handling your pregnancy (and labour) more comfortably.

RELATED: Exercise while trying to conceive

5. Get enough sleep 

You are going to feel more tired when you are pregnant. You shouldn’t ever push yourself. Your body is just letting you know that you need to rest. Keeping your body well rested will put it in a better condition to fight off illness. 

6. Avoid sick people

There is a reason that we say you “catch” something. It is pretty common knowledge that people can pass illnesses between each other. However, it is often not stressed enough that in certain situations you should avoid people.

7. Public places

It can be difficult to avoid public places, however, if you feel that you are catching something, it may be a wise decision to stay in until you feel as though you are back to your normal self. There are some public places that are riskier than others. For example, avoid places where there are large crowds or sick people tend to visit. Try to have a friend or partner make that pharmacy trip for you or go out to the store during flu season. 

8. This means friends and relatives

A lot of people want to be touching your belly or visiting you when you are pregnant. This is not always a great idea and, even if it is difficult to stand up for yourself, you need to learn how to say no. If somebody is sick, tell them to hold off their visit until they are feeling a little better -especially if you know they are contagious. 

9. Listen to your doctor

Your doctor is a trained professional. If they give you advice, take it. If this means they want you to get vaccines or take medication -do it. They only have your best interests at heart and have much more training in knowing what is right, especially if they are trained in prenatal care. 

10. Wash your hands

It seems self-explanatory, but a lot of us overlook the importance of washing our hands. This is especially important during times where a lot of people are sick such as flu season. 

11. Start treating yourself immediately 

A lot of us can tell when we have a cold or sickness coming on. It makes us feel weird or extra tired -maybe we notice that we are in a bad mood.

12. Don’t hesitate to seek medical advice

As soon as you notice you are sick (even if it may be nothing) it is wise that you make a doctors appointment and go seek medical attention. If you can identify your symptoms early, it can make it much easier to avoid those really nasty symptoms that may develop later on or get medicine to avoid getting sick altogether. The earlier the better.

This also means that you should never try to wait something out. It is a much better idea to talk to your doctor and find out there was nothing to worry about than wait it out and see what comes from it. 

How to treat a cold when pregnant

Natural methods

  • Get plenty of rest: Getting a full nights sleep is not only a great way to prevent illness, but it is also a great way for you to get your body strong to deal with already existing problems. Making sure that you sleep when you feel tired and get a sufficient amount of sleep will put your body in tip top shape to fight off infection. It is your body’s way to give itself a break and spend energy where it is needed to battle your diseases. If you feel more tired than normal when you are sick, that is because your body needs more sleep to fight off the cold. 
  • Try a salt water rinse: A salt water rinse is a nice and natural way to fight off a sore throat. It can be highly effective and doesn’t require anything that isn’t already in our bodies!
  • Humidifier: Breathing in nice, humid air is a great way to fight cold symptoms. Even if you do not have a fancy machine, there are a number of ways you can still achieve the effect such as sitting in a closed bathroom with the hot water running. 

Medical intervention

  • Pregnancy safe medication: Especially if you are having stubborn symptoms, medications are a great way to alleviate sickness and even make it go away faster. There are several different pregnancy-safe options available that will allow you to treat yourself without hurting your baby. Whether you are looking for prescriptions or over-the-counter stuff, you need to make sure that you are able to take is safe with the baby. 

RELATED: Paracetamol in pregnancy

  • Cough suppressants:  Cough drops are another great way to stop coughing while not taking to intense of medication. Limiting your coughing can help ease the strain on your body as well as help with the symptoms. 

Remember: It is always important to consult a doctor. Never try to take treating methods into your own hands. Everything has the potential to not be pregnancy-safe -even if you are using homoeopathic methods. Doctors are trained to know what to do, and it is much better to consult them than to rely on of someone online. 

Additionally, some things are easily and safely cured with a little medical intervention. In some circumstances, they are a wiser choice than relying upon “natural” methods. 

Getting a cold when you’re pregnant may feel a bit scary, but there are a number of things you can do to limit your risk of it hurting your baby. Keeping your body in the best shape possible will not only prevent the impacts of illness on your unborn child, but it is also great to prepare your body for the strains of carrying a child. While preventing the cold altogether is ideal, there are several different treatment options you can take that are pregnancy safe. If you ever have any questions or concerns, consulting with a doctor is the smartest option. 

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