What are the dangers of a cold in early pregnancy?

Pregnancy harbinger

There is a popular belief according to which a cold is considered a sign of conceiving a baby. Indeed, in the first weeks of pregnancy, a woman feels tired, sleepy and stuffy. Such symptoms can be confused with the onset of a respiratory infection. In fact, it is progesterone and estrogen that are raging in the body.

Hormonal changes can lead to a slight increase in temperature and runny nose. During this period, a woman needs additional rest. Warm herbal tea with honey and good sleep help improve your condition.

Sometimes a runny nose haunts the expectant mother throughout her pregnancy and only goes away after discharge from the hospital. In such cases, rinsing the nasal sinuses with a weak saline solution can help. The procedure greatly facilitates breathing and serves as a preventive measure against the development of viruses.

cold during pregnancy

Pregnancy and vaccination

If you want to know how to avoid getting the flu during pregnancy, you should use a specific prevention method such as vaccination.

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In particular, pregnant women are recommended to be vaccinated with inactivated vaccines - and not earlier than in the second or third trimester.

In general, such immunoprophylaxis procedures must be approached carefully so that the doctor chooses the appropriate drug that will not provoke a conflict between the fetus and maternal immunity. Some doctors advise getting vaccinated before you become pregnant.

When the lactation period begins, you can get vaccinated without much concern. The more beneficial antibodies are produced in the young mother’s body, the more protected the baby will be (receiving them along with the mother’s milk).

Why does a cold start?

But what to do if an infection enters your body and you really get sick? This often happens because a pregnant woman's immune system weakens.

The characteristic features of a cold are:

  • runny nasal discharge;
  • sneezing and tickling in the throat;
  • temperature increase;
  • headache;
  • painful sensations when swallowing.

If you feel such symptoms, you should immediately call a doctor so that he can conduct an examination and prescribe treatment. You should not take pills on your own. Pregnancy is not the time to experiment, because many medications can negatively affect the development of the baby. Only a doctor can select competent therapy that is as safe as possible for the child.

The first trimester of pregnancy and colds often come into contact. Immediately after conception, the body reduces its protective function. This is necessary for the embryo to take root, otherwise the immune system may perceive it as a threat, causing rejection and miscarriage. During this period, a woman becomes vulnerable to all viruses and bacteria, so she needs to be extremely careful and take care of her health.

How to treat a cold in early pregnancy

Treatment of colds in the early stages of pregnancy is complicated by the fact that the use of most anti-cold medications is strictly prohibited. One can only rely and hope on medications approved for pregnant women (which only a doctor can prescribe!), traditional methods of treatment and non-drug preventive measures.

You can bring down a high temperature in the early stages of pregnancy only with the help of anti-cold tea with the addition of raspberries and honey (which should be taken at night, given its diaphoretic effect) or with paracetamol-based medications, approved for use by young children, nursing mothers and pregnant women. Coughs and sore throats can be relieved by gargling with chamomile or calendula decoctions, as well as a baking soda solution. A runny nose can be treated by instilling a solution with sea salt or aloe juice into the nose.

What is the danger?

At the initial stage of the 1st trimester, a cold is very dangerous. If it is not completely cured, complications may occur, such as bronchitis or sinusitis. They cause severe fever and intoxication, which is harmful to the baby, and they are difficult to get rid of without antibiotics.

If a viral infection begins when the expectant mother does not yet know about conception, then most often she begins to take antiviral drugs, bring down the temperature with pills, and put strong drops in her nose in order to quickly overcome the cold. These actions reflect poorly on the child and can greatly harm him in the future.

To avoid such a development of events, you should not grab medications at the first signs of illness. First, it is better to try to improve the condition with folk remedies that are safe for the body. They are often no worse than newfangled pills.

  • The main thing that makes a cold dangerous in the first trimester is the pathological development of the baby’s organs, which are formed during a viral infection.
  • Sometimes high temperature leads to the development of fetal hypoxia. This is a condition when the baby does not have enough oxygen to breathe and grow.
  • In rare cases, infectious diseases interrupt a long-awaited pregnancy.

Rubella is considered a very dangerous disease. If the mother did not have it in childhood, before planning a pregnancy, she should be very careful and avoid contact with infected people.

Rubella in its initial stages resembles a common cold, accompanied by a runny nose and cough until a rash appears.

A pregnant woman definitely needs to protect herself from it. The virus that causes rubella has a destructive effect on the embryo, causing serious disturbances in the formation of organs.

No matter how terrible the consequences of a cold may seem, you should not worry too much. Timely consultation with an experienced doctor minimizes possible troubles. Many women experienced a cold in the early stages of pregnancy, but carried beautiful, healthy babies. So don't beat yourself up. Calmness and good mood are important for a quick recovery.

pregnant woman has a cold

Rubella and pregnancy

The only period when rubella is not dangerous to human health and occurs without complications is early childhood. In other cases, this disease leads to a number of complications. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women, or rather, for their unborn children, in the first trimester of pregnancy, when the formation of all vital organs and systems occurs.

Rubella is an acute viral infection that is easily transmitted by airborne droplets from person to person, namely by sneezing, coughing, or talking. But infection requires quite a long and close contact with the patient, for example, caring for a sick child, staying indoors together, etc. The incubation period lasts 15-21 days, and it is very difficult to determine the moment of infection, since at first the infection occurs latently. The rubella virus is sensitive to temperature and chemicals.

What to do?

If you go to work every day, you should definitely take sick leave. You cannot tolerate a cold on your feet during pregnancy, even when it is a common runny nose.

For mild colds, proven folk recipes are effective. There are several simple ways to bring down the temperature.

  • You can use apple cider vinegar. If its strength is 5%, then it must be diluted with warm water one to one, 9% liquid is diluted one to three.
  • Remove your clothes, soak a soft cloth in vinegar and gently rub your body with it.
  • Treat the forehead, temples, under the arms, under the knees, and wrists.
  • Lie down in bed and cover yourself with a sheet. After half an hour the temperature should drop.
  • After sweating, change into dry clothes and drink herbal tea.

Cabbage leaves help relieve heat. Disassemble the head of cabbage into leaves, dip them in boiling water for a second. Lay it out on the table. Take a sheet and beat it on one side with a hammer. This is necessary for it to release juice. Place the sheet on your chest and back. Cover them with plastic on top and tie them with a scarf. After 20 minutes, change the leaves. The temperature will drop soon.

Gargling helps with sore throat. Baking soda or herbs are helpful for them.

  • Pregnant women can gargle a sore throat every hour with a soda solution, which is made at the rate of half a teaspoon per 200 ml of water.
  • Chamomile is suitable for rinsing. It is convenient to brew it in filter bags and use it to treat the throat and for oral administration.
  • When chamomile is not available, it is advisable to use a decoction of calendula or sage. They also have antimicrobial properties and soothe the throat.

Inhalations are effective against cough. They are best done with a nebulizer, after consulting with your doctor. Inhalation of mineral water is safe during pregnancy. They resolve at any time, perfectly moisturize the mucous membrane and improve expectoration.

When there is no nebulizer, the procedure can be done the old fashioned way, using hot potato broth and a towel. It will not only help get rid of a cough, but also warm up your nose and ears, and make breathing easier.

It is easy to clear your sinuses with salt dissolved in water. Afterwards, it is useful to lubricate your nose with a mixture of natural oils. Place 10 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, clove and cinnamon oils into a dark glass bottle. Stir and use.

Herbal infusions

Herbs for treatment in the first trimester should be used with caution, since not all of them are safe during pregnancy and can cause allergies. But plants such as chamomile and calendula sage do not pose a threat, and they can be safely brewed for rinsing, inhalation and oral administration.

For deep coughs, special herbal tea helps. Mix 1 tbsp. l:

  • plantain herbs;
  • coltsfoot;
  • dried currant leaves.

Measure out a large spoon, pour it into a liter thermos and fill it with boiling water. Drink a glass three times a day before meals.

A dry barking cough can be easily relieved with licorice root and anise. Take a teaspoon of the ingredients and brew them with a liter of boiling water. After 20 minutes, the infusion is ready for use. It must be filtered and taken three times a day, 250 ml, preheated.

During a cold, rosehip helps to cope with the disease faster. Its vitamin composition and bactericidal properties cause many viruses to retreat. It is useful to infuse crushed berries in a thermos and drink twice a day instead of tea, adding honey to taste.

rose hip


To be less susceptible to colds, you need to systematically strengthen your immune system. The diet should be varied, including many vegetables and fruits. Garlic, lemon, onion, and ginger root have strong bactericidal properties.

  • Walk more in the fresh air, do light exercise, if the gynecologist approves of such exercise, relax and enjoy life.
  • During the seasonal activation of viruses, try not to visit crowded places and travel less on public transport. If you have to see a gynecologist during this period, be sure to wear a mask.
  • Wash your hands as often as possible, because it is on them that most bacteria accumulate.

When preventative measures don't work, don't panic. To recover faster, you need bed rest. Ventilate the room several times a day, humidify the air, especially in winter, and don’t get nervous.

Now you need light food filled with vitamins, warm compotes, fruit drinks and clean water.

In the first trimester, you can treat a cold using traditional methods. But if you notice a deterioration in your health, the high temperature does not go down, green discharge from the nose and a severe cough appear, call an ambulance to prevent serious complications. Practice shows that a timely visit to the doctor and strict adherence to instructions in the vast majority of cases allows you to bear a healthy and developed baby.

How to avoid getting the flu during pregnancy?

The flu is of great concern to expectant mothers, because it can cause pregnancy complications and various disorders in the development of the fetus. Although such unpleasant consequences, as a rule, only have a severe form of influenza, during pregnancy it is necessary to take all possible measures to avoid the disease. Experts will tell you what needs to be done for this.

There are basic preventive measures to reduce the risk of infection. They may seem like elementary truths to some, but I will still remind you of them:

  • avoid visiting crowded places, reduce the use of public transport if possible;
  • walk more in the fresh air, ventilate the room more often;
  • when visiting a clinic or having forced contact with a sick person, do not hesitate to wear a 4-layer gauze mask; if someone from your family gets sick, it is better if he wears a mask and not you;
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after contact with a sick person or care items. What else can a pregnant woman do to avoid getting sick when faced with the virus?

Methods for preventing influenza can be divided into two groups: so-called nonspecific , which increase the body’s overall resistance to infections, and a specific method - vaccination, which involves the formation of protection specifically against influenza.

Let's look at the pros and cons of the most common prevention methods. Let's start with the non-specific ones:

  • Hardening . The range of hardening methods that can be used during pregnancy is quite wide. These are long walks in the fresh air, air baths with morning exercises for 10 - 15 minutes at an air temperature of 18 - 20 degrees, rinsing the neck, upper chest, arms along the entire length with cool water at a temperature of 14 - 16 degrees, contrast dousing of the feet, rinsing throat with cool water, etc. The main thing is not to overdo it. You need to start hardening at the water or air temperature at which you feel comfortable; the procedure should not be unpleasant for you. And if you decide to harden yourself, you need to do this systematically, and not in fits and starts.
  • Vitamins A, B and especially C. You should not exceed the average doses of these vitamins recommended for pregnant women, just ensure that you receive them regularly from food or multivitamin preparations. Rich in vitamin C and safe from the point of view of allergic reactions, for example, yellow grapefruits and fresh cabbage.
  • Leukocyte interferon in the form of drops. It is instilled 5 drops into each nostril twice a day with an interval between administrations of at least 6 hours. This drug may cause allergic reactions and should be used with caution.
  • Oxolinic ointment 0.25%. Since this ointment has an antiviral effect, before going to crowded places, you can lubricate your nasal passages with it. By the way, this ointment can also be used for infants. In the same way, you can use “Vitaon” from the “Balms of Karavaev” series.
  • Garlic . The antiseptic properties of garlic are well known, but refrain from systematically consuming garlic, especially its concentrates in tablet form. It’s better to finely chop fresh peeled garlic cloves, place them on plates and place them in the room where you are. In this case, phytoncides - active substances that kill or inhibit the growth of microbes - will be able to fully demonstrate their protective properties.
  • Herbal immune stimulants (echinacea, eleutherococcus, ginseng, aralia). They should be used with caution, since the mechanism of their action on the immune system is not fully understood; In addition, allergic reactions and increased blood pressure cannot be ruled out.
  • Homeopathic remedies recommended as measures to prevent respiratory infections. As a rule, they are again “aimed” at stimulating the immune system; they should be used with caution, it is advisable to consult a homeopathic doctor and/or your gynecologist.

drugs are used quite effectively : amantadine, rimantadine (effective against influenza A virus), zanamivir and arbidol (effective against influenza B virus). However, they are not recommended for pregnant, nursing mothers and infants.

  • Viferon in the form of rectal suppositories. Can only be used if the threat of influenza to the mother exceeds the potential threat to the fetus; it is not recommended during breastfeeding; in other words, it is better to temporarily refrain from this method. Prescribing Viferon ointment for the nose during pregnancy is safe, so it can be used as a preventive measure.
  • Grippferon is a recombinant interferon preparation. Just like leukocyte interferon, it should be used with caution; there is an opinion that it is also better to abstain from this drug during pregnancy and lactation.
  • Amiksin is a drug that stimulates the production of its own interferon. It is not used for pregnant women and infants.
  • Ribomunil is a drug containing particles of bacterial protein of the most common pathogens of respiratory infections. The manufacturer does not indicate pregnancy and infancy as a contraindication to taking the drug, however, like any immune stimulant, ribomunil should be used with great caution during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Dibazol , a drug used to treat high blood pressure, has a weak immunostimulating effect.

True, now many doctors question the effectiveness of dibazole. If we also take into account the ability of this drug to reduce blood pressure, it can hardly be recommended to a pregnant woman.

Expectant mothers should be wary of taking drugs that stimulate nonspecific immunity: they can upset the rather fragile balance between the mother’s immune system and the fetus. Unfortunately, it cannot be said that using methods of stimulating nonspecific protection it is possible to achieve the level of effectiveness that is achieved by vaccination, the only effective way to prevent influenza. Vaccine manufacturers recommend vaccination with killed vaccines starting in the second trimester of pregnancy. However, domestic doctors do not recommend that expectant mothers undergo any vaccinations. Although the absence of teratogenic effects of killed influenza vaccines on the fetus can be considered proven, vaccination as a method of stimulating the immune system can provoke an immune conflict between the mother and the fetus. Therefore, it is better to get vaccinated before pregnancy. Vaccination during breastfeeding is safe: in this case, vaccination will protect not only you, but also your baby from the disease, since protective antibodies will be passed on to the baby through the mother’s milk.

Since medications intended for the prevention and treatment of influenza are not always harmless for a pregnant woman, she should be especially careful about those methods that do not involve taking medications. Among them is phytoaromatherapy, or the use of plant essential oils for medicinal purposes. The antiviral and antiseptic properties that some oils possess will not only stop the development and spread of the disease, but also quickly eliminate “cold” discomfort (sneezing, runny nose, sore throat, pain when swallowing).

The most effective for acute viral respiratory diseases and flu are essential oils of lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, nauli, peppermint, rosemary, pine and especially thyme. The use of marjoram essential oil will significantly reduce the intensity of headaches.

For the prevention and treatment of influenza and other acute respiratory diseases, various methods of phytoaromatherapy are used:

Dry inhalations: Apply 1 – 2 drops of a mixture of essential oils to your palms, rub vigorously and inhale, bringing closed palms to your nose. As you exhale, move your palms away from your nose. Dry inhalation is carried out 2 – 3 times a day.

Wet inhalations: add 2 drops of a mixture of essential oils to 1 liter of boiling water, cover your head with a towel, inhale the aromatic steam for 3 - 5 minutes. The eyes must be closed while performing the procedure. Wet inhalations, like dry inhalations, are carried out 2–3 times a day.

Lubricating the skin of the neck and nasal mucosa: measure one teaspoon of any vegetable fatty oil (sunflower, olive, etc.), add 2 drops of a mixture of essential oils to it, stir. Lubricate the front of the neck and nasal mucosa with the resulting solution 2 – 3 times a day.

Aromatization of room air: add a mixture of essential oils to the water of an aroma lamp at the rate of 2 drops of essential oil per 5 square meters. m of room area. Perform aromatization for 30 minutes 2-3 times a day. Before aromatizing the air, the room should be ventilated. It is not advisable to stay indoors while the air is being aromatized.

In the initial stage of acute respiratory disease, dry and wet inhalations are recommended, as well as aromatization of the room with a mixture of the following essential oils:

  • tea tree essential oil – 2 drops,
  • eucalyptus essential oil – 2 drops,
  • lavender essential oil – 2 drops,

It is recommended to lubricate the skin of the front of the neck and chest area, as well as the nasal mucosa, with an oil solution of the following mixture of essential oils:

  • tea tree essential oil – 4 drops,
  • eucalyptus essential oil – 4 drops,
  • peppermint essential oil – 2 drops.

If one of your family members is already sick and flu viruses are literally in the air of your apartment, you can scent the room 2-3 times a day. This procedure is an excellent way to disinfect. To do this, use this mixture:

  • tea tree essential oil – 2 drops,
  • bergamot essential oil – 3 drops,
  • eucalyptus essential oil – 2 drops,
  • lavender essential oil – 3 drops.

The recommended mixtures of essential oils are not only effective, but also safe throughout pregnancy - of course, only if you strictly follow all the recommendations for their use.

Olga Kozinova, Olga Kibus - candidate of medical sciences, therapist at the Clinic of Obstetrics and Gynecology of the MMA named after. THEM. Sechenov; herbalist

Based on materials from the site 9months.ru

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