Being pregnant requires you become more cautious about what you put in your body. From what you eat to the medications you take, everything that affects your body will also have an effect on your baby. What happens when you have a cold and your usual over the counter medicines are not an option? Are there any cold medicine still safe? This article will help you decide just that.

What Cold Medicine Is Safe When Pregnant?

For the first 12 weeks of your pregnancy, it is best to avoid taking any medication at all. Consult your doctor for recommendations on how to treat your cold symptoms. After 12 weeks and with your doctor's approval, you can try some of these medications.

  • Acetaminophen like Tylenol for fever and body aches.

  • Cough medicines like Robitussin are safe to take for coughs and congestion when you have a cold.

  • Nasal sprays that contain steroid can be safe to take while pregnant, but consult your doctor for the proper dosage to take.

  • Antihistamines like Benadryl or Claritin to help with nasal congestion, and other cold symptoms after the first trimester.

  • Menthol rubs to help clear up chest congestion.

  • Nasal strips are safe if you want an alternative to nasal sprays and for better night's sleep.

  • Cough drop and lozenges are safe after the 12th week of pregnancy.

What Cold Medicine Is Not Safe When Pregnant?

  • Pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen can cause developmental problems with your baby and can cause problems during labor.

  • What cold medicine is safe when pregnant doesn't include decongestants like Sudafed and Dayquil. These decongestants might be safe after the first trimester but with very limited use.

  • Nasal sprays that are nonsteroidal such as Afrin which contains oxymetazoline are not usually recommended by doctors when you are pregnant.

  • Certain supplements like Echinacea or zinc supplements are not safe homeopathic treatments for colds when pregnant.

  • Additional medicines you should also avoid taking when you are pregnant include naproxen, codeine, Bactrim and certain antibiotic.

How to Deal With Cold Symptoms Naturally Then

Taking any type of medication can be risky, even if OK'd by a doctor for some women. Some of the best ways to beat a cold is with natural treatment. If you would much rather try to fight off your cold symptoms in a more natural way before taking any medications, try some of the following tips.

Do nothing

Sometimes the best thing to do is to let your symptoms play out. A slight fever and coughing are ways your body is naturally fighting off the cold virus. Often times if you endure some of these annoying symptoms for a day or two, you may find yourself getting better faster.


Blow your nose regularly

What cold medicine is safe when pregnant for a stuffy nose? The best thing to do is to blow your nose gently often. Instead of sniffling and sniffing, when your nose starts to run, which will cause germs to be carried back into the head, you want to blow these germs and phlegm out. Blowing too hard can cause ear infections, however, since the pressure can send phlegm and germs to the ear passages.


Use salt water for a stuffy nose

The best natural method to clear up your nasal passage is a salt water rinse. Mix together a quarter teaspoon of salt and baking soda with 8 ounces of lukewarm water and use a bulb syringe to help clear away particles and bacteria from the nasal passage. You want to use a bulb syringe while you hold one nostril closed and squirt the baking soda salt solution into the other nostril and repeat on the other nostril.


Help your body fight the virus

Getting plenty of rest and staying warm will help your body focus its energy on fighting off the cold virus. When you first feel a cold coming on, the first thing you want to do is to get plenty of rest to help your body more effectively fight off the virus.


Treating throat irritations

For temporary sore throat, gargle 8 ounces of water with a half a teaspoon and gargle four times a day. When you have a slight cough, gargle honey mixed with apple cider vinegar.


Plenty of hot fluids

Drinking hot fluids when you are sick not only breaks up nasal congestion but will also prevent dehydration while soothing inflamed membranes lining the throat or nose. Drink a hot cup of tea with some honey for even more relief.


Hot shower

Don't ask what cold medicine is safe when pregnant, and just take a hot shower. Sitting in the bathroom filled with steam from a hot shower can help keep the nasal passage moistened.



Dabbing a small amount of salve under your nose will help keep the nasal passage clear. Mentholated salve can make breathing much easier.


Hot and cold packs

Applying hot or cold packs on the sinus areas can provide plenty of pain relief. Use a hot washcloth or a bag of frozen peas for a natural way to relieve sinus pressure.


Elevate your head

Sleeping with an extra pillow under your head can help reduce nasal congestion.


Avoid flying

Flying when you have a cold can increase or worsen cold symptoms. The change in air pressure when you fly can cause more respiratory issues, damage the eardrums and increase the overall pressure you feel from your cold. If you do have to fly, be sure to swallow frequently, chew gum or consider taking a decongestant.


Eat the right foods

When you are pregnant, you want to eat healthily, but when you also have a cold, you want to eat the right foods that will fight off the infection. Bananas, blueberries, carrots, chili peppers, cranberries, onions and foods rich in vitamin C can all help fight off your cold naturally. 


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