During pregnancy, any disease can pose a risk. In case of flu or colds, it is necessary to know how to calm your symptoms if contagion has occurred.

Both during autumn and winter the risk of contracting colds and flu is much higher, which can negatively influence pregnancy, by causing different discomforts -common and typical, by the way- that may not be relieved with Medicines that, at any other time, could be consumed normally but that during pregnancy pose a risk not only to the pregnant woman but to the normal development of the fetus.

For this reason, the prevention of colds and flu during pregnancy is essential, mainly because, as many gynecologists and midwives state, when a pregnant woman catches a cold she usually maintains it until the end of pregnancy, and also, the symptoms tend to be a little more intense.

How can colds be prevented in pregnancy?

The truth is that, during pregnancy, as at any stage of life, different hygiene and protection measures must be maintained to help prevent contagion.

Pregnant women are part of the risk groups that should be vaccinated against the flu, hence when pregnancy develops during the winter months, it is advisable to vaccination. Although it can be done at any time during pregnancy, it is advisable to do it in the second trimester.

Although it is true that the vaccine does not prevent infection (because it does not protect against the spread of the virus itself), it does help reduce the consequences of the infection, which tend to be very serious. In addition, it is useful to protect the baby during the first months of life after delivery.

Once vaccinated, there are a series of basic tips to follow that will help you in a simple way when it comes to avoiding -and preventing- any cold or flu:

  • Wash your hands often. Especially when you go by public transport and go out on the street. In this sense, wash them well, with hot water, before eating and before putting your hands in your mouth.
  • Stay as far away as possible from people with flu or colds.
  • If you go to a public bathroom, try to use a single-use towel to open the door when entering and leaving.

How can we alleviate cold symptoms during pregnancy?

Remember that, during pregnancy, only your doctor is the only one who can prescribe and recommend the administration of any type of medication. In the case of having a cold or flu, as it is a generally viral disease that must be passed and that only heals with the passage of days, the drugs only help to alleviate the symptoms.

Even so, in pregnancy the consumption of ibuprofen is not recommended, and it is recommended to replace it with paracetamol, as long as it is taken in moderation and under the supervision of the doctor.

It is also recommended to hydrate well and rest. During pregnancy it is normal for you to feel more tired, especially during the second and third trimesters. If so, and you also have a cold or flu, try to rest as much as you can.

In case of nasal congestion, physiological serums or sea water spray are recommended, as they help to maintain good and adequate nasal hygiene. However, they should not be abused.

On the other hand, in case of cough and sore throat, there are different natural remedies that can be of great help. A good example is the infusion of thyme, honey and lemon, which is very easy to prepare and provides beneficial qualities.

In any case, if you have a fever you should see your doctor for a proper medical review and supervision.

Bibliographic references:

  • Ghulmiyyah LM et al. J Neonatal Perinatal Med. (2015). Influenza and its treatment during pregnancy: A review. Disponible en https://doi.org/10.3233/NPM-15814124
  • Mertz D et al. Vaccine. (2017). Pregnancy as a risk factor for severe outcomes from influenza virus infection: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies. Disponible en https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5359513/


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