11 Ways To Treat A Cold During Pregnancy

11 Ways To Treat A Cold During Pregnancy

23 Nov 2022 | 5 min Read

Sudeshna Chakravarti

Author | 799 Articles

When you are pregnant, your immune power becomes a little weak to help keep your growing baby protected and prevent your body from identifying the fetus as a foreign entity. The only downside of this? Your body cannot ward off viruses like the common cold, making you vulnerable to symptoms like a cough, stuffy nose, and sore throat. 

But don’t worry, none of these symptoms affect your baby as they are well-protected in your uterus. Nonetheless, cold during pregnancy can make you uncomfortable and exhausted. Read on to know how to effectively manage your cold symptoms during pregnancy and when to seek medical care and attention. 

Symptoms of a Cold During Pregnancy

Symptoms of a Cold During Pregnancy
You may feel weak and tired, and also experience a stuffy or runny nose / Image credit: Freepik

A cold during pregnancy will usually begin with a scratchy or sore throat, followed by the gradual appearance of other symptoms like

  • Sneezing
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Dry cough
  • Mild fatigue
  • A low-grade fever, usually under 100 degrees Fahrenheit

What Causes Cold During Pregnancy?

A common cold is usually caused by a type of virus known as rhinovirus, which easily transmits from one person to another. Due to its easy transmission, many people are affected by the common cold every year. Since your immunity is suppressed during pregnancy, you may be more prone to contracting a common cold after coming in contact with a sick person.

Cold vs. Flu: What’s the Difference?

You can tell the difference between a cold and the flu by keeping track of your symptoms.

  • If you have a cold, your symptoms will appear gradually, and you may have little to no fever. You may also have a sore throat in the beginning, but it usually subsides within a day or two, leaving a runny or stuffy nose, and cough as the main symptoms.
  • If you have the flu or influenza, your symptoms will be more severe and include a high fever, headache, sore throat, and chills, with may worsen in the subsequent days. You may also experience fatigue or weakness that lasts for a couple of weeks or longer. 

11 Tips to Treat Colds During Pregnancy

11 Tips to Treat Colds During Pregnancy
Take plenty of rest and include vitamin C-rich foods in your diet to boost immunity / Image credit: Freepik

Taking unprescribed medicines for colds during pregnancy can be dangerous. Hence, to manage your symptoms, you can try the following remedies at home.

  • Take adequate rest: If you are feeling tired and weak, then take a break from all your work, and head to your bed to catch up on some much-needed rest. Also, refrain from any strenuous activities and avoid working out.
  • Keep yourself well-nourished: You probably won’t have that much of an appetite, but you still need to keep eating to nourish your body and support your baby’s development. Rely on warm foods like soups and porridge, and include fresh veggies in your diet.
  • Add vitamin C-rich foods to your diet: Vitamin C-enriched foods can help boost your immunity naturally and make you feel better faster. Try all kinds of citrusy fruits like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit, and also include melon, kiwi, mangoes, strawberries, spinach, and broccoli in your diet.
  • Drink plenty of liquids: Sneezes, runny nose, and fever can cause your body to lose a lot of fluids essential for you and your baby. Hence make sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to maintain hydration. Keep a hot thermos filled with ginger tea or veggie/chicken broth next to your bed, and take a few, short sips throughout the day.
  • Add zinc to your routine: Zinc can also help boost your immune power, and enhance your overall health. You can consider adding natural sources of zinc to your diet like oatmeal, wheat germ, yogurt, cooked oysters, and eggs. 
  • Take your prenatal vitamins regularly: Taking your prenatal vitamins enriched with zinc and vitamin C can help you fight the cold, and also ward off other infections. However, make sure to consult your doctor before adding any kind of prenatal vitamins to your routine. 
  • Elevate your head while sleeping: Elevating your head with a couple of pillows while lying down can help you breathe easier and sleep peacefully. It helps keep your nasal passage open and prevents stuffiness at night.
  • Invest in a humidifier: Dry air can irritate your nasal passage and disrupt your sleep. Hence, consider adding a cool-mist humidifier to your room to add moisture to the air and keep your nasal cavity soft and clear.
  • Use saline nose drops and rinses: Salone nose drops can moisten your nasal passages and keep stuffiness at bay. Since these nose drops are un-medicated, they are completely safe for use by pregnant women.
  • Gargle with salt water: You can also consider gargling with warm salt water to ease a scratchy or sore throat and reduce cough.
  • Eat some honey: Mix a couple of teaspoons of honey in hot water with lemon to suppress a dry cough and a sore throat.

When to See a Doctor?

If you notice these symptoms, then make sure to consult your doctor immediately.

  • Your cold is extremely severe and is interfering with your eating and sleeping patterns.
  • You have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You are coughing up yellowish or greenish mucus.
  • You have a cough accompanied by chest pain and wheezing
  • Your symptoms last for more than two weeks


Getting a cold during pregnancy can be particularly unpleasant and tiring. But don’t worry, you can manage its symptoms with the remedies we discussed above, and if you still see no improvement in your condition, then ensure to consult your doctor for guidance. Also, do not take any over-the-counter cold medicine without contacting your healthcare provider as that can impose serious risks on your as well as your baby’s health.  

Cover Image Credit: Freepik.com



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