Suffering from a cold at any time is hard on its own, but it’s especially challenging during pregnancy. During pregnancy, your immune system is often suppressed – and because of this, not all medications are safe to use. However, there are some home remedies you can use to battle colds during pregnancy; the safest is the natural cold remedies for pregnancy.

It is usually a good thing when your immune system runs at a lower speed than usual because this protects your pregnancy and prevents your body from thinking that the fetus is a foreign entity. The only downside of this immune suppression is that your body does not ward off many viruses that cause the common cold, making you vulnerable to symptoms such as cough, stuffy nose, and sore throat.

What Do You Mean By Cold?

A common cold is a harmless viral infection affecting the nose and throat. It can be caused by several types of viruses, particularly rhinoviruses. These viruses can enter the body through different routes, including mouth, nose, or eyes.

This viral infection also spreads from one person to another. When sneezing or talking, a person suffering from a cold spreads viruses in the form of droplets in the air. These viruses can easily enter the body of other persons and cause infection. Further contact with other objects contaminated with the cold virus also leads to infection.

Symptoms of Cold During Pregnancy

A cold usually starts with a sore or scratchy throat lasting for a day or two. Then this is often followed by the gradual appearance of other symptoms, such as:

  • Low-grade fever (usually under 100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • A dry cough, particularly around the time when the cold is ending.
  • Nasal congestion
  • Mild headache
  • Slight body pains
  • A runny, then stuffy nose
  • Mild fatigue
  • Sneezing

Causes of Cold

Rhinovirus is the common cause of most colds. This virus is easily passed from one person to another. There are more than 200 viruses that cause colds, which is why many may get them frequently, especially pregnant women. Adults usually don’t need any treatment and recover from colds alone. But, children, nursing mothers, or pregnant women may have to take proper treatment for recovery from a cold. Medications are not always needed; treating colds with natural remedies is always the best option a person can go with.

Duration of Cold During Pregnancy

Cold symptoms during pregnancy generally last between 10 and 14 days. But unfortunately, a pregnant woman may get another cold just as soon as one ends. If the symptoms of the cold persist beyond 10 or 14 days, or they seem to be worsening, it is advisable to inform your practitioner about it. Your practitioner then guides you to prevent your never-ending cold from developing into something more serious, such as a secondary infection or the flu.

A Cold or The Flu?

One of the ways one can tell the difference between a cold and the flu is by taking stock of the symptoms:

A coldInfluenza (known as the flu)
Even a bad cold is not as serious as the flu.Influenza is often more severe than cold and comes more suddenly than cold.
The symptoms of a cold come slowly, and it often comes with little or no fever. A sore throat usually triggers the cold, but the sore usually goes away after a day or two, leaving the cough and runny nose as the major symptomsThe symptoms of the flu may include a high fever (usually between 100 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, or even higher), chills, headache, a sore throat that generally worsens by the second or third day, intense muscle soreness, and general weakness and fatigue, which can last for several weeks.

How to Fight Cold During Pregnancy

How to Fight Cold During Pregnancy
How to Fight Cold During Pregnancy

Many medications relieve cold symptoms but are not recommended to take during pregnancy. Still, there are many other effective strategies, including natural remedies, which are totally safe and effective in relieving colds during pregnancy. All these organic strategies that can help a pregnant woman fight a cold are mentioned below:


Going to bed with a cold does not necessarily shorten its duration. However, if you notice that your body demands some rest, it is better to listen to it.

Staying Active

Feel free to do light to moderate, pregnancy-safe exercises that will help you feel better if you are not coughing or having a fever.

Eating A Better Diet

It is normal not to have much appetite during a cold, but eating as healthy a diet as possible when you feel up to it can help relieve some of your cold symptoms.

Increase vitamin C Intake

A diet rich in vitamin C can help boost your immune system naturally. The increased immune system then effectively fights colds. You can take all types of citrus fruits (tangerine, orange, grapefruit), melon, strawberries, spinach, red cabbage, broccoli, papaya, bell peppers, tomatoes, mango, and kiwi.

Consuming more zinc

Increased zinc intake enhances the immune system’s functioning. Pregnant women should endeavor to get 11-15 milligrams of zinc each day from all sources, including their prenatal vitamins. Fill up on oatmeal, wheat germ, yogurt, eggs, cooked oysters, pork, beef, and turkey.

Drinking More Fluid

Fever, sneezing, and runny nose will cause your body to lose the fluids you and your baby need. Taking warm beverages may be particularly soothing, so keep a thermos of a hot drink like ginger tea or a hot soup like chicken broth next to your bed. Try to drink enough water to stay particularly well-hydrated, too – your urine should be the color of pale straw. Water and cold juice also work fine if that’s what you’re thirsting for.

Taking supplements safely

It is smart to take your prenatal vitamin, which contains vitamin C and zinc, even when you are fighting a cold. Do not take any other supplements that are not your prenatal unless your doctor approves them.

Moisturizing your hair

If the dry condition in your home aggravates your sensitive nasal passages and throat, misting the room with a cold or warm air humidifier at night can help greatly. Adults can use either kind, but for the sake of safety, don’t ever use a warm-air version in a baby or toddler’s room.

Increasing Honey Intake

A couple of teaspoons straight – or mixed in hot water with lemon – has been shown to help suppress the dry cough that often comes with and after a cold. It is at least as effective as an on-the-counter cough syrup.

Using saline nose drops, sprays, or rinses

These will help moisten your nasal passages. And since they are un-medicated, they are completely safe to use as often as needed. However, avoid using neti pots (saltwater) because they are more apt to spread germs.

Gargling with saltwater

Gargling with warm salt water ( teaspoon of salt to 8 ounces) can help ease a scratchy or sore throat. It also helps in washing away post-nasal drip and helps in controlling cough.

Natural Cold Remedies for Pregnancy

Natural Cold Remedies During Pregnancy
Natural Cold Remedies During Pregnancy

Treating health ailments with natural remedies is always the safest way of recovery. It does not impose any side effects on sensitive people, including pregnant women. Here’re given approved natural cold remedies for pregnancy.

1. Homemade Chicken Soup

Chicken soup helps in soothing a sore throat and loosening nasal mucus. In addition, homemade chicken soup has the healing properties of vegetables. It is also delicious and gentle on the stomach.

Direction: Simply prepare a hot chicken soup by adding some veggies and consume it for at least 2-3 days.

2. Ginger

Ginger, has long been used to treat colds during pregnancy due to its warming properties. It boosts blood circulation and increases the body’s ability to fight against bacterial and viral infections. Besides relieving colds, ginger also maintains gastrointestinal health among pregnant women. 

Direction: Prepare a mixture by adding crushed ginger after boiling it in water and then combining it with lemon and honey.

3. Garlic

Due to antibacterial, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, garlic is very effective for treating colds during pregnancy. It also maintains blood pressure and lowers cholesterol, thus very beneficial for pregnancy. Taking garlic for 3 to 4 days regularly help to combat cold by killing bacteria.

Direction: Crush, chew, or slice garlic to get maximum recovery before consumption.

4. Apple Cider Vinegar

The apple cider vinegar breaks up and loosens the mucus. It also acts as a natural expectorant, and the malic acid in it acts s a strong anti-viral.

Direction: Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a large glass of hot water. Add a squeeze of lemon and honey. Mix them well and sip them 2-3 times each day at the first sign of a cold.

5. Steam

The moist heat from the steam helps loosen nasal congestion so you can get it all out. The steam will also moisten your nasal passages and airways.

Direction: You can take a hot shower or boil water and carefully put your face over it to breathe in the steam. Ensure you are careful when doing this so you do not burn yourself.

6. Lemon and Hot Honey Water

The vitamin C nutrient contained in the lemon and the anti-bacterial properties contained in honey will help in kicking the cold germs while soothing your irritated throat at the same time. The hot liquid helps in breaking up and loosening mucus.

Direction: Squeeze out the juice of a lemon, then drop half a lemon into a large mug. Add 1 tablespoon of raw honey and fill it with boiling water. Sip the mixture and repeat as often as needed.

7. Salt Water Gargle

This is good for reducing swelling in the throat. It also loosens mucus and can help flush out bacteria and irritants.

Direction: Dissolve a one-quarter teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water. Gargle the solution for several seconds before spitting it out. Repeat this process 4-5 times a day.

8. Onion

It is a very effective ayurvedic remedy to treat colds and coughs during pregnancy with onions. The sulphuric compounds and quercetin in onions help to cure colds by killing virus-causing infections. 

Direction: You can eat onions in raw form or after mixing them with some other veggies. Remember, the onion smell can nauseate pregnant women, which can be uncomfortable.

Medications for Cold During Pregnancy

If you cannot follow the process of natural cold remedies for pregnancy, then you can take medications instead. But before you decide to take any medication whenever you’re in bed with a cold, it is better first to call your practitioner to know which medications would not pose danger to you or your pregnancy. The cold medicine safe for pregnancy is mentioned below:


If you are suffering from body aches or headaches or even running a fever, it is okay to take drugs containing acetaminophen over a short time. Such drugs include Tylenol.

Cough medication

There are cough medications that are safe for pregnant women. The medications include:

Cough MedicationsHow do they work?
ExpectorantsExpectorants such as Mucinex and Robitussin have the active ingredient, Guaifenesin, which effectively cures cough, cold, and flu.
Cough suppressantsCough suppressants such as dextromethorphan work by expelling unwanted mucus and microbes.
Vicks VapoRubIt alleviates cough by treating throat and bronchial itching.

Most cough drops are also considered safe. However, you should ask your medical practitioner about the level of dosing.

Nasal sprays

Most nasal sprays containing steroids are safe during pregnancy. But you should consult your doctor about the right brand and dosage. Sprays and plain saline drops are safe to take when you are pregnant. They can help clear and moisturize a stuffy nose.


Not all antihistamines are considered safe; only some, like Benadryl and Claritin, are nice to use. Consult your practitioner before taking an antihistamine. Some doctors will advise pregnant women to stay away from antihistamines within the first trimester.


It is better to stay away from medication while you’re pregnant. However, if you need to use any, ensure that whatever you use is safe. In the case of colds, natural remedies are considered the safest way of treating colds in pregnant women. Still, certain medications as discussed already can also be taken to cure cough during pregnancy.


Will it Harm My Baby If I Have a Cold?

While it may make you uncomfortable, a common cold shouldn’t damage your health or child. However, getting a fever early in pregnancy can harm the unborn child. Regularly check your temperature, and if it rises above 38 degrees C, call your doctor.

What’s Good for a Pregnant Woman to Take for a Cold?

Tylenol, Saline nasal drops or spray, Sudafed, and Actifed are a few cold treatments during pregnancy.

Is Cold Medicine During Pregnancy Safe?

Medicines like acetaminophen, allergy, and cold medicines are safe to take during pregnancy, but medications like aspirin and ibuprofen should be avoided.

What Are Essential Oils During Pregnancy?

You need to check with your medical consultant first, but a few essential oils during pregnancy are Lavender, Geranium, Eucalyptus, Rose, German and Roman chamomile.

The information contained in this post is for educational purposes only. Always consult your primary care doctor before using the remedies that are provided. The information is provided by The Hidden Cures and while we do timely, in-depth research on the information that we provide to you, everything stated may not be up to date or accurate from the time it was written.

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