When you first learn that you're pregnant, you might become a tad neurotic about what you put into your body (I know I was). You want to make sure you're healthy and safe, and the last thing you want to do is harm your growing baby. And with cold and flu season becoming more rampant and deadly in the last few years, coming down with a simple cold can be extremely scary. You worry about what medicines are OK to take and what you should shy away from.
To help navigate this important topic, Dr. Ian Tong, chief medical officer at Doctor on Demand, spoke with POPSUGAR about how pregnant women should handle a cold. "Sudafed use should be avoided in the first trimester," he said. "There's also really not enough benefit to the use of zinc or vitamin C in the acute phase of a cold to justify the short-term use of these vitamins." The following are approved medicines to use during pregnancy:
• Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
• Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
• Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed — is OK after first trimester)
• Loratadine (Claritin)
• Zinc lozenges and vitamin C (have limited benefit in the acute phase of a cold to justify the short-term use of these nutrients, but they are still safe)
• Chloraseptic spray (but a salt-water gargle is just as effective with no risks)
Dr. Kristin Dean, also from Doctors on Demand, stressed that "over-the-counter, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Drugs (also known as NSAIDs) are not safe to use during pregnancy. This includes brand names such as Ibuprofen, Advil, Aleve, and Motrin." Especially during the first 12 weeks, try not to take anything at all if you don't have to.
While there are some options on the list above, the downside is that they don't always do the trick, so we're often left to "suck it up," which leaves us even more exhausted than being pregnant alone tends to do. So, the next time you get a cold, try the medicines above (preferably once you're in the second trimester), but always remember to check with your own doctor first. In the meantime, make sure to practice good hand-washing, get plenty of sleep, and drink lots of water.