Pregnant women may have fewer options for over-the-counter medications while sick but the good news is there are plenty of home remedies for cold symptoms that are safe and effective during pregnancy.
Catching a cold while pregnant can be a real bummer. No one likes having a sore throat and runny nose and it can be incredibly uncomfortable while pregnant! While most people run to the drugstore for cold and flu medication, it isn’t safe for pregnant women to take most over-the-counter medicines.
Natural remedies are always the best option for anyone with cold whether they are pregnant or not because there are no worries about side effects. Plus, most of the time they work much better!
Unlike traditional medication, these natural remedies don’t come with a slew of side effects. You won’t have to worry about harming your unborn baby and you can get over your cold much faster.
This article was written for our audience by guest writer Jes Lyn of justjeslyn.com, a website that helps women take steps toward a natural, toxin-free lifestyle. Keep reading to find out which natural cold remedies will work best for you!
Note: Some links may be affiliate links. That means I may make a commission if you use my links to purchase, at no extra added cost to you! I only recommend products that I personally love and believe in. Additionally, I am not a medical professional and this post is not meant to be medical advice. This article is for informational purposes. Full disclaimer here.
11 Simple Home Remedies for a Cold While Pregnant
Pregnant women may have fewer options for over-the-counter medications while sick but the good news is there are plenty of home remedies for cold symptoms that are safe and effective during pregnancy. You can fight that cold safely and you probably have a lot of the ingredients for these natural remedies already in your home.
Rest may seem like a given but you would be surprised how many people don’t prioritize rest, especially pregnant women with a cold. The fact of the matter is having a cold often makes us miserable and that can affect our rest. I know personally, I find it extremely uncomfortable to sleep with a stuffy nose!
No matter how hard it is the most important thing to do when you don’t feel well is to get enough sleep. If you are pregnant your body is using up a lot more energy than usual so if you are sick you need lots of rest to replenish that energy.
Be sure to take a nap every day, create a relaxing night routine, and go to bed as early as possible to give your body time to rest so you can kick that cold goodbye!
2) Stay Hydrated (But Not Just Water)
I’m sure if you’re pregnant your doctor (and probably everyone else) has told you to drink plenty of water. While that is true it’s important to not only drink water but drink lots of fluids that bring true hydration to your body by way of minerals.
Our body needs certain essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, and sodium to function properly and have a robust immune system. Although we do get some minerals from our food our soils have become so depleted that the amount of minerals in our food is lower than it used to be.
If you drink spring water you will be getting those minerals because spring water has not been filtered to remove them like purified water. If you only drink purified water it can actually flush more minerals out of your body which can have a negative effect.
Especially when you are sick you need to be replenishing the liquids and minerals that your body is losing through sweat and urine. Instead of drinking plain water try drinking spring water, water with Himalayan pink salt added, orange juice, bone broth, or coconut water. This way you will get plenty of fluids and be hydrated fully by replenishing your minerals.
Need some help staying hydrated? Check out this great insulated 40oz tumbler with handle that will help you drink more water during the day while keep your drink ice cold!
This daily life hack will help you recover from your cold much sooner!
Soup can help! Making a homemade chicken ramen broth is a great way to help your body get the nutrients it needs while also hydrating.
3) Citrus Fruit
Citrus fruit is full of vitamin C which makes it great for curing a common cold. It’s also safe for pregnancy and you can make a simple concoction that has major cold-busting properties. Citrus fruits have been known to boost immunity and can help relieve congestion.
To make citrus peel tea follow these simple steps:
- Take the peels of your favorite organic citrus fruit and wash them thoroughly.
- Place the peels in a pot of filtered water and simmer it on the stove for 10-15 min.
- Strain out the liquid and pour the tea into a mug.
- You can also add honey because depending on which type of citrus you use it may be bitter to the taste.
My favorite citrus fruits for tea are grapefruit and orange. You can also use lemon or make it a mixture of all three! No matter which ones you choose this citrus peel tea will have major virus-fighting properties!
Also, If you are taking Prenatal vitamins you will get a boost of vitamins from those so don’t forget to take them!
4) Hot Shower
Taking a hot shower can help with headaches or chest congestion that come along with having a cold. If you take a moderately hot shower you will be able to enjoy steam inhalation from the hot water. This will help clear out any mucus and bring some relief.
If you are feeling tired from pregnancy and sickness or both it may be a good idea to get a chair and take a shower sitting down to be sure you are safe while enjoying your hot shower. If you would rather you can also take a hot bath and allow the steam to fill the bathroom.
These aromatherapy shower steamers are a great addition to help your hot shower make an even bigger impact.
5) Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is one thing everyone should have in the medicine cabinet (or refrigerator)! It’s my all-time favorite because it has antiviral properties, antibacterial properties, and antifungal properties. It’s all-natural which makes it safe for a pregnant woman.
For a cold, you can take apple cider vinegar as a straight shot (be careful it may burn a little!) or you can add it to juice or water if you want to lessen the sour taste. This will help kill cold viruses that are causing the sickness and help you to get better faster!
6) Nasal Strips
Having a stuffy nose can be super frustrating especially at night when you are trying to get some rest and can’t breathe out of your nose.
Try getting nasal strips and putting them on your nose whenever you need them. This will help open up your nasal passages and allow you to rest more peacefully at night so you can recover faster.
7) Gargle With Warm Salt Water
Another pregnancy-safe remedy for a scratchy throat is to gargle with salt water. This will help soothe your throat and also help rid it of any virus or bacteria that is causing your cold.
All you have to do is dissolve about a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle it in the back of your throat. Spit it into the sink after and repeat. Be sure not to use hot water so you don’t burn your mouth.
When you are done don’t drink any liquids for 15-20 minutes afterward so the salt has time to work its magic! You can repeat this several times a day. Be sure to use high-quality salt like Himalayan pink salt or sea salt for maximum benefits.
8) Drink Hot Tea
Drinking hot tea or any hot liquid such as hot chicken soup will help pregnant people recover from a cold faster. The warm liquids will soothe the throat and there are many immune-boosting properties in tea.
Try drinking ginger tea because it is anti-inflammatory and can also help to calm an upset stomach.
9) Saline Nasal Sprays
If you’re dealing with nasal congestion while pregnant it’s a good idea to use saline nasal sprays instead conventional cold medications. The salt in the saline spray will help clear out your congestion and kill any virus that is causing it.
Be sure to buy a saline nasal spray that only contains water and salt without any added medications. You can also try a neti pot which uses water with salt to run through one nostril and out the other one clearing out the mucus on the way.
10) Essential Oils
Essential oils have long been used for their therapeutic benefits and can be very beneficial while you have a cold. You can apply diluted essential oils to your chest and the bottoms of your feet or you can diffuse them using an essential oil diffuser.
Be sure to choose pregnancy-safe essential oils such as peppermint, frankincense, lemon, and chamomile. Diffusing essential oils can help soothe and calm you during your cold.
11) Coconut Oil
Coconut is a great tool to have on hand. You can cook with it and also use it when you have a cold. It has anti-inflammatory properties which makes it ideal for soothing a sore throat. It is also antimicrobial which means it can help fight off the viruses, bacteria, or fungi that may be causing your sickness.
To take coconut oil for a cold you can simply eat a small spoonful or put it into your tea or warm water. It dissolves in warm beverages so be sure to add it to warm water not cold water. You can also add in lemon for a vitamin C boost!
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What Not to Take For A Cold While Pregnant
Having a cold while pregnant can make you feel miserable. Natural remedies are the best way to go because most traditional medications are not safe during pregnancy. The following medications are not safe during pregnancy and should be avoided as they can hurt your developing baby:
- Naproxen (Aleve, Midol)
- Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
- Celecoxib (Celebrex)
- Aspirin (Bayer)
- Benzocaine (throat lozenges and throat sprays)
- Codeine (pain and cough medication)
Final Thoughts on How to Treat a Cold While Pregnant
At the end of the day, the best way to beat a cold during pregnancy is to live a healthy lifestyle and get plenty of rest! This will ensure that your immune system is working the best it possibly can.
However, pregnancy in itself can put stress on the immune system, so if a cold happens you can use these natural home remedies for a cold while pregnant to make yourself much more comfortable and recover faster.
As with anything else during your pregnancy be sure to contact your healthcare provider before starting any new medications and if you feel your cold getting worse. They will be able to give you the care you need to be the healthiest you can be for your growing baby!
Guest blogger Jes Lyn is a biology teacher turned homeschool mom with a passion for natural health and wellness. She is the founder of justjeslyn.com, a website that helps women take steps toward a natural, toxin-free lifestyle. For over a decade she has committed to learning and living out a natural lifestyle with her family of 6 and is dedicated to educating and inspiring others to do the same. You can find her on Instagram @jes.lyn and Facebook.