Cold is a common infection in Nigeria, especially during harmattan.
Although this may be normal for most people, a pregnant woman would have to be extra careful. Why? Simply because dealing with any illness during pregnancy is quite complicated. Whatever happens to a mum-to-be affects both her and the baby.
During pregnancy, your immune system becomes weaker in order to accommodate the growing baby. However, this leaves you prone to certain bacterial and viral infections including a cold.
The common cold is caused by a type of virus known as Rhinovirus.
Sadly, it is easily passed from one person to another. Furthermore, there are more than 200 other viruses responsible for colds, making it so common in our communities.
In this article, you’d find the major symptoms of cold, home-based remedies and simple tips to avoid the common cold during pregnancy. Furthermore, we’d supply you with a few insights on the right time to contact your doctor if the cold is persistent.
Symptoms Of A Cold During Pregnancy
Common symptoms of cold during pregnancy include:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Dry cough
Remedies For Cold During Pregnancy
Not all drugs are safe to use during pregnancy. As a result of this, you must consult your doctor before taking any medication as a pregnant woman.
Nevertheless, we have compiled these home-based remedies to help you tackle the common cold without visiting the hospital:
Actually, your body may be stressed out and in need of rest. This may be why your immune system cannot fight the cold.
Whenever you notice a runny nose or continuous sneezing, try to get enough rest.
2. Stay Hydrated.
Sneezes, fever, and a runny nose cause the body to lose fluids. Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Warm beverages, chicken pepper soup, water, juice, hot ginger tea, are highly recommended.
3. Be Active
Don’t allow the cold to weigh you down. If you don’t have a fever and you’re not coughing, you can do some light pregnancy-safe exercise.
It may help you feel better.
4. Eat Well
Maintaining a good, healthy diet can help relieve your cold symptoms. You may not have the appetite to eat, but when you can, ensure your diet is healthy.
5. Take More Vitamin C and Zinc.
Vitamin C and zinc help to boost your immune system. Citrus fruits like oranges and tangerines, as well as mangoes, tomatoes, and strawberries, are rich sources of vitamin C.
You can get zinc from foods such as turkey, beef, eggs, yogurt, etc. You can also take supplements.
6. Prenatal Supplements
You can also take prenatal vitamin supplements which contain vitamin C and zinc. Just ensure you are not taking other supplements aside from what your doctor recommended for you. Please do not exceed the recommended daily dose (RDA) and avoid vitamin A supplements in the first trimester.
7. Saltwater Gargle
Gargling with warm salt water can help to ease a sore or scratchy throat.
Eating honey is good to help relieve cold symptoms. You can eat the honey directly or mix it in hot water with lemon.
9. Moisturize Your Air.
Breathing warm, humid air helps to relieve congestion. Steaming with hot water will also help. Try running hot water from your shower or bath and close all the windows and doors. The cool mist will also do you good. If neither of these is feasible there are humidifiers on sale in the stores.
10. Nasal Drops
Saline nasal drops and sprays are effective for loosening nasal mucus and soothing swollen nasal tissue.
How To Reduce The Risk:
To reduce your risk of getting sick during pregnancy, you should:
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water.
- Get adequate sleep.
- Avoid getting stressed.
- Exercise regularly.
- Avoid close contact with sick family or friends.
When To See A Doctor:
After following all the guidelines above, and the cold is still persistent, you should see a doctor. Also, if the cold is associated with any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor:
- Difficulty in breathing
- Chest pain
- High fever
- Loss of appetite
- Severe vomiting
- Reduced sleep
- Coughing out greenish or yellow mucus
- Vaginal bleeding
- Decreased foetal movement
- Cold symptoms lasting longer than 10 to 14 days
You’ve got this, Mama!
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- Lora Sabin, Evan M. S. Hecht, Mohamad I. Brooks, Mrigendra P. Singh, Kojo Yeboah-Antwi, Abanish Rizal, Blair J. Wylie, Philip A. Bondzie, Matthew Banos, Jordan Tuchman, Neeru Singh and Davidson H. Hamer (2018). “Prevention and treatment of malaria in pregnancy: what do pregnant women and health care workers in East India know and do about it?” Malaria Journal. Accessed on 10th October, 2020 from https://malariajournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12936-018-2339-9#citeas
- Leqian Guo, Doudou Zhao, Ruo Zhang, Shanshan Li, Rong Liu, Hongli Wang, Shaonong Dang, and Hong Yan (2019). “A Matched Case-Control Study on the Association Between Colds, Depressive Symptoms during Pregnancy and Congenital Heart Disease in Northwestern China.” Science Rep. Accessed on 15th October, 2020 from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6345882/#__ffn_sectitle