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How to Get Rid of a Bad Cold While Pregnant

By Rose Erickson ; Updated August 14, 2017

Even during pregnancy, it is possible to catch a cold. Because pregnancy has an impact on your immune system and hormones, cold symptoms may worsen or last longer than normal. Unfortunately, certain treatments and medications are not recommended for use during pregnancy, reducing your treatment options. However, there are still many ways to remedy a cold while pregnant--and decrease recovery time.

  1. Apply a couple of drops of homemade saline drops--1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in 8 ounces of water--into the nose. The Dr. Spock website suggests waiting approximately 5 minutes before gently blowing your nose to get rid of the stuffiness commonly associated with colds.

  2. Take a cough suppressant such as dextromethorphan, to help ease a cough and encourage healing. Although some medications are dangerous during pregnancy, the Babycenter website notes that dextromethorphan has not been known to cause birth defect in unborn babies.

  3. Suck on a zinc lozenge or use a zinc based nasal spray to speed up recovery.

  4. Elevate your head with a few pillows or by placing wooden blocks beneath the legs at the head of your bed. According to the Babyzone website, this can encourage sinus draining and ease stuffy nose symptoms.

  5. Tip

    Although a cough while pregnant may seem dangerous to your unborn baby, the Dr. Spock website assures that you cannot accidentally go into labor or miscarry as the result of a severe cough.

    If you experience loss of urine when coughing, try to use the restroom frequently or practice Kegel exercises to strengthen the bladder muscles.


    The Babycenter website warns that some medications, such as the decongestant phenylephrine and the pain reliever ibuprofen should not be used when pregnant. These medicines can decrease the flow of blood to the placenta, cause toxicity and can result in severe birth defects, including heart problems.

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