Cold/Flu Symptoms

The common cold is a benign, self limited syndrome caused by several different types of viruses. Symptoms range from sneezing, nasal congestion and runny nose, sore throat, cough, low grade fever, headache and malaise (body aches). Self limited means that it runs its course without treatment (antibiotics) in time.  Typically, this is usually 7 to 10 days. 

With pregnancy, your immune system is suppressed which makes you more prone to catch a cold and a little harder to get over. The "flu" is cause by a completely different family of viruses, "influenza."  Pregnancy increases your risk of complications from influenza. ACOG (American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology) and the CDC (Center for Disease Control) recommend all pregnant women receive the seasonal influenza vaccine.  It is safe in all trimesters.

Although you can not treat the cold or flu with antibiotics, you can obtain some symptomatic relief.   Medications include:

  • Tylenol
  • Benadryl
  • Sudafed
  • Chlortimeton
  • Cough Drops (no zinc lozenges)
  • Robitussin DM
  • Claritin

Additional comfort measures include

  • Rest Rest Rest
  • Water Water Water (STAY HYDRATED)
  • Clear decaffeinated beverages
  • Take your prenatal vitamins
  • Vitamin C to boost your immune system. You can find vitamin C aplenty in citrus, strawberries, melon, kiwi, mango, papaya, broccoli, red cabbage, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach
  • Humidifers to keep the air around you moist
  • Salt water gargles
  • Nasal saline sprays to moisten your airways

To download printable brochures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), click on the following link: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

Read more about the flu vaccine:

What You Need to Know About the Influenza Vaccine

Pregnant Women and Infants -- Targets for the Flu