Pregnant women are not immune to any disease and they are just as susceptible to viral infections, such as cold and flu, like anybody else. The problem is, when a pregnant woman comes down with flu, she cannot take most of the over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs that people sometimes use for this illness. This is because many drugs, whether they are over-the-counter or prescription, can harm the unborn baby, cause birth defects, low birth weight or even miscarriage. In addition, some herbal supplements used in treatment of flu are not suitable for pregnant women either.
Fortunately, flu and cold are among those diseases that go away on their own even without any drugs and medication, using only safe home remedies and natural solutions.
Cold and flu remedies in pregnancy
Rest is the number one cure for cold, flu and other viral diseases of the upper respiratory tract. Pregnant women should take plenty of rest as it is, and during flu or cold it is best if they stay in bed and avoid all strenuous activities. Rest is important because it allows the body to fight the infection on its own.
While resting or sleeping, it is best to keep the head elevated. That way the mucus in the nose, which is very thick and causes congestion, will be evacuated more easily and the feeling of pressure and pain in the sinus area will be milder.
Pregnant woman should only use saline nasal sprays and drops. Other products of this type are not recommended and saline solution is perfectly safe. Saline solution, which can me made at home by mixing half a teaspoon or sea salt with a glass of warm water, can also be used for gargling in case of sore throat.
Steam is also very beneficial and absolutely safe for pregnant women. It breaks down mucus, makes it thinner and easier to eliminate by blowing the nose and coughing up. In order to reap the benefits of steam, it is advised to take steamy showers, to sit in a steamy room or bathroom or to inhale vapors from a bowl of hot water.
When it comes to fever, pregnant women are generally advised to stay off drugs designed to reduce high body temperature. Instead, they can try cold compresses or wet washcloths placed on the forehead, arms, legs and feet.
Traditional home remedies for flu and cold, such as chicken soup, warm tea and lemonade, are also safe and very beneficial.