Pregnancy is a journey full of ups and downs. And no matter how much you have prepared for each and every symptom through the way, there will always be surprises. One of the earliest surprises are these weird early signs of pregnancy. And YES, cold and cough is an early sign of pregnancy.
Many women experience signs of cold and cough in their first week of pregnancy. Before even the stick shows positive. It’s not common for that cold and cough to develop into flu. It’s very rare. But, a little bit of stuffy nose and mild cough is completely normal and extremely common during pregnancy.
Sure, you will develop symptoms of cold and cough throughout your pregnancy too. It’s more common in the first trimester of pregnancy and less in the later trimesters. Along with cold and cough, pregnancy headaches are also something that can develop way early than you would have imagined. And it’s also a much more common symptom in the first trimester.
P.S.- Read more about 16 EARLY SIGNS OF PREGNANCY THAT STRIKES BEFORE A *+VE* PREGNANCY TEST
Why are cold and cough early pregnancy sign?
Frequent cold and cough are generally attributed to only one reason – DECREASED IMMUNITY.
Your body generally takes the fetus as a foreign substance and fights it.
However, your immune system fights back to make sure that the fetal development isn’t harmed. Since the immune system is now busy protecting your baby, this means that you become more prone to common infections such as cold and cough.
Will cold and cough harm your baby?
Cold and cough are so common. All pregnant women at least go through one round of stuffy nose and sore throat during pregnancy. And your body doesn’t let any harmful bacteria reach your baby. So, your baby is good.
However, note for the signs of Flu. Cold is generally much milder than flu. Many symptoms can overlap which is why it’s hard to know the symptoms.
Symptoms of Cold and Flu that overlaps are: Runny and scratchy nose, sore throat, running nose, Sneezing, Mild Fever or No fever (around 100℉), fatigue.
Cold is Flu if: You have high fever (more than 100℉), whooping cough that is intense, body aches and severe headache, shaking chills etc.
Flu is generally much much worse than cold. Flu is generally more common during fall and winter months. Cold is something that can happen anytime and has no favorite season.
Flu Shots are generally recommended for women to steer clear of an infection that can severy harm both mother’s and baby’s health during pregnancy. You should get a flu shot vaccine irrespective of which trimester you are in. Don’t opt for nasal spray flu vaccine though, it’s not recommended. If you receive the vaccination, it’s more likely that the baby will be protected too against the flu after born. He, anyways, won’t be able to receive this vaccination before 6 months.
When should you see the doctor if you have a cold?
If the symptoms of cold are not worsening day by day and you don’t have fever, chills, and body ache. You are probably good to go. There is no emergency. You should avoid certain medications like aspirin, codeine, ibuprofen etc. during pregnancy. You should consult your doctor either by phone or in person on any medicines you decide to take. Depending on your pregnancy, the medication might or might not be good for you. So, avoid self-medication as much as possible.
Cold and Cough During Pregnancy: Home Remedies That Work
Honey and Lemon:
Having warm water with some honey and lemon is the best way to clear your throat. It will provide instant relief to you.
Lemon has the power to cut through your congestion and honey’s antibacterial properties helps fight the mucus.
Having it first thing in the morning helps with your digestions and builds your immunity. This concoction acts as a detox itself.
You can also add some ginger, holy basil, cardamom, cloves etc. for adding extra taste. All of them are great for cold too. And not to forget lemon and ginger are highly recommended for morning sickness too.
P.S.- Read other HOW TO MANAGE MORNING SICKNESS AT WORK?
Salt Water Gargles:
Mix half a teaspoon of salt in a glass full of warm water. Use it to gargle for around 2-3 times a day. It’s the best remedy for a dry cough recommended by many doctors themselves. If the taste makes you nauseated, you can definitely mix in some honey or lemon to make it more palatable. In one study, where 400 different volunteers were followed through their cold, 40% showed a decrease in throat infections as compared to those who didn’t gargle. Volunteers gargled for 3 times a day. So, it does have scientific proof to it.
For cold, it’s recommended that you eat 1 raw garlic clove at least once a day to help you with the symptoms.
When garlic is crushed it releases a powerful antibacterial called allicin.
Allicin is only released after garlic is crushed and isn’t present if heated. The complete reason behind why garlic works is still not known but it’s said that a mix of its enzymes, vitamins, and minerals together fights the bug effectively. You can chew on garlic around 3 times a day without any hesitation.
Humidifiers can help clean up the dry, humid air that can easily work against cold and congestion.
Humidifiers add moisture to the air which can help with the congestion. Try to use a cold-mist humidifier as they have a low risk of accidents. Keep the humidity at around at 30-50%. Any more than 50 can actually escalate the growth of bacteria and molds. Also, make sure that the tank is clean. Otherwise, it might release the germs into the atmosphere.
Vitamin C is the best to keep up with the immunity. It’s strongly recommended to have a glass of freshly squeezed orange and mosambi juice during flu season. Make sure that the juice is not cold but is at R.T. Anything cold will just give a breeding atmosphere for bacteria to multiply. They might not help you as much as other remedies instantly but they do have an amazing long-term effect in keeping up with your immunity.
Coconut Oil contains Lauric acid.
Lauric acid is famous for its virus attacking properties.
It dissolves the protective layer around the virus and helps make it easier for immune system to kill it. Aim to use more coconut oil in your food.
You can also add some coconut oil to your tea, soup or broth to make it more creamy and rich.
Massaging some warm coconut oil with some peppermint oil can help too. Massage on your chest, head, and back to get instant relief.
Certain Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins such as Vitamin C mentioned above can be very helpful during the cold. Having a balanced diet is necessary. If it’s difficult to eat wholesome meals 4-5 times a day, just have nutrient dense foods 2-3 times a day. Aim for some protein and veggies. Among fruits just citrus fruits are fine. Having warm soup with lots of veggies can help too.
Zinc is one of the nutrients that might be lacking from your diet but extremely essential to building up immunity.
Zinc helps in combating rhinovirus, the most common virus for the cold.
It prevents it from multiplying. Studies have shown that zinc can reduce the duration of a cold by a day or two. It works best if taken within 24-48 hours of when symptoms occur. Some zinc-rich foods include spinach, beef, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds etc.
P.S.- Read about 10 FOODS ALL PREGNANT WOMEN SHOULD *AVOID* AT ALL COSTS
Probiotics are usually safe to consume during pregnancy. There have been no studies that have shown adverse consequences on either the mother’s health or baby’s health if probiotics are consumed. But, just like any other supplement talk to you OB/GYN before taking any supplements. Try to include more natural foods that are rich in probiotics like kimchi, pickled vegetables, yoghurt, tempeh etc.
Herbs That Can Help (But Only in Moderation)
Ginger ( 1-5 grams)
Most cases of cold, while you are pregnant, are generally not serious. But, do consult your doctor once if you feel something is wrong with you.
How many colds did you suffer from during your pregnancy? Tell us in the Comments section below.