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7 incredible home remedies for colds during pregnancy that actually work

Try these 7 home remedies for a cold during your pregnancy so you can skip the medicine

You normally reach right for the cold medicine when you get sick any other day of the week. But if you’re pregnant, you have to double-check every medication you take. Standard go-tos like aspirin and ibuprofen aren’t recommended during pregnancy, and many doctors suggest not taking medicine at all during the first trimester when key developments are taking place.

So, what is an already cranky pregnant woman supposed to do when a cold starts to present itself? This leaves us going back to basics and looking for home remedies for colds during pregnancy. It turns out some of these DIY treatments are more than myths. Here are some home remedies that actually work to sooth those symptoms so all you have left are the normal pregnancy ones.

A pregnant woman resting on the couch taking a nap.

The easiest things to try

Rest and fluids

Start with the obvious! The top two ways to feel better are to get some rest and drink plenty of fluids. Water is best, but electrolyte drinks like Pedialyte help restore hydration if you’ve been vomiting or sweating a bit too much. Drink as much water as you can throughout the day, and get more fluid through foods like watermelon.

If you’re a coffee drinker, cut back on the milk or creamer because dairy increases congestion. Tea should be your best friend. Warm tea with honey always soothes a sore throat.

Gargle warm saltwater

This can ease a sore throat or cough. Add a half teaspoon of salt to a cup of warm water and gargle for as long as possible before spitting it out. Repeat with new gulps until the cup is done. The salt prevents harmful bacteria from creating an infection and it relieves inflammation and pain.

It’s not dangerous to swallow the water, but it’s not recommended since too much salt increases dehydration. The water can be warm because if feels better on your sore throat, but as long as the salt dissolves into the water, it can be cold if you prefer.

Breathe in warm, humid air

Take deep breaths in a hot shower, put your face over a pot of steaming water (drape a towel over your head to keep in the steam), or use a facial steamer or hot-mist vaporizer if you have one.

Breathing in steam helps loosen congestion. If you’re dealing with a nasty cough during pregnancy, this may temporarily make you cough a little more as you get out the loosened mucus and phlegm, but then it will clear up and feel better afterward.

A man handing his pregnant partner a hot drink while she is on the couch.

Other steps to try to calm the cold

Saline nasal spray

Loosen nasal mucus and feel sinus relief with saline nasal spray. Use saline (saltwater) instead of a medicated spray, as it’s safe for baby and you without the chance of overuse. If you do use it daily, you may get excess water running out of your nose. Since you want to relieve your runny nose, try not to do it more than a few times per day. Read the directions on the bottle and follow what it says.

Chicken soup

Chicken soup is always good for the soul. It’s also medicinally beneficial, not just a cliché. A study out of the Nebraska Medical Center showed that homemade chicken soup (a recipe with vegetables) works as an anti-inflammatory. The steam you breathe in while hovering over the bowl to take your sips helps clear your nasal passage as well.

It’s the perfect go-to comfort food for colds for a reason. Make sure your recipe includes onions and garlic, which both contain additional helpful properties for cold relief.

Hot and cold compresses

An ice pack on your face could help relieve your sinus pain and a warm pack on your forehead feels nice if you have chills. Use temperature changers like a fan or a blanket to help get your body to a regulated temperature that feels good for you. Getting outside to soak up the warm sun may be comforting as well, and some Vitamin D doesn’t hurt (as long as you use sunscreen).

Coconut oil

Rub coconut oil on your chest or consume it orally in tea, broth, oatmeal, smoothie, or another way. Coconut oil has antiviral properties that helps curb several cold symptoms and helps shorten the cold. Rubbing it on your chest after mixing in a little peppermint oil will clear nasal passages so you’ll breathe easier. Ingesting it soothes a sore throat and reduces coughing.

You don’t need cough syrup to help a cold when you are pregnant, or any other time for that matter. With these home remedies that are pregnancy-safe, you’ll be feeling better in no time. Grab your favorite comfort blanket, put on those fuzzy socks, and see which of these at-home remedies work to relieve a cold in your pregnancy body.

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