cough & cold

Prevention is the Best Medicine

All of those tips about staying well when you aren’t pregnant are even more important when you are pregnant.  It’s simple old-fashioned common sense. 

  • Wash your hands before eating and/or touching your face. 

  • Eat a healthy diet. 

  • Get enough rest. 

  • Exercise a little every day

  • Take your prenatal vitamin, along with Vitamin C, D3, and probiotics.

What can I take if I get sick?

In general, “less is more” for taking medications in pregnancy.  Most people prefer to take over-the-counter medications as a last resort if some more holistic options do not give them the relief they are looking for.

Herbal and/or Oily options:

  • Vitamin C.  Two well-known, effective vitamin C supplements are Airborne, Emergen-C.  

  • Vitamin D3 is also an essential supplement for immune support. 

  • Thieves Essential Oil (Young Living) is a well-researched immune support oil.  Apply it to the soles of your feet each night before bed.

  • Thieves Cough Drops / Thieves Throat Lozenges (Young Living).  Like the oil, these lozenges and cough drops have essential oils that support your immune system.

  • Elderberry Syrup.  Many people take Elderberry syrup for cough and immune support.  Homemade is fine.  

  • Eucalyptus tincture, or Eucalyptus essential oil.  The tincture can be taken orally. In addition, the essential oil can be diffused bedside while you sleep.

  • Garlic capsules may have antiviral/antibiotic properties. 

  • Echinacea & Goldenseal (3 capsules 4x daily for 4 days; 2 capsules 4 x daily for 4 days)

  • Irrigate your sinuses daily with something like a NeilMed sinus irrigation bottle.

  • Manuka honey in tea (or by itself) may both coat your throat and support immune health by fighting bacteria/viruses associated with cold & flu.

Other Options

  1. Chiropractic care

  2. Acupuncture

  3. Massage Therapy

  4. Steam room/humidifier

Over The Counter Medications

Acetaminophen is the main ingredient in Tylenol and many other pain medicines. It's often one of the only pain relievers recommended to pregnant women for pain or fever. It's long been viewed as safe during pregnancy and is used by a large number of pregnant women in the U.S. and abroad, but there are recent studies that indicate it may longer be safe and should only be taken when the benefits are greater than risks.

The usual dose is 650 mg. Take every 4 hours, as needed, up to 4 times in a 24-hour period. Do not take more than 4,000 mg in a 24-hour period.  Do not take more than 2 days a week without consulting your midwife (WebMD).



Antihistamines:  Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) and Loratidine (Claritin) appear to be safe during pregnancy.

Avoid pseudoephedrine (Sudafed).  It may be associated with congenital disabilities involving the baby's abdominal wall.

Avoid Ibuprofen as it may be associated with congenital heart defects in the baby.

Avoid decongestants (such as phenylephrine).  They affect blood flow to the placenta and should generally be avoided throughout your pregnancy.



Dextromethorphan (a cough suppressant) and Guaifenesin (an expectorant) both appear to be safe during pregnancy.



Call your midwife if: 

  1. You do not experience any relief from the remedies above. 

  2. You have a fever above 100.4

  3. You have an unusual headache. 

  4. You are unable to stay hydrated. 

  5. You have swelling in your hands or face. 

  6. You have pain in the upper part of your abdomen on the right.