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Upper Respiratory Infection


Most pregnant women will come down with a cold at some point in their pregnancy. Fortunately, most cases are self-limited and do not require treatment. However, if your symptoms are significantly hindering your daily activities, there are medications you can take during pregnancy.

Treatments that are safe and effective for use in pregnancy include:

Pain and Fever
○ acetaminophen (Tylenol) – 500mg to 650mg every 4-6hrs as needed. You should not exceed 3000mg of acetaminophen per day

  • Sore Throat
    • acetaminophen
    • Cepacol lozenges
    • Phenol throat spray (Chloraseptic)
  • Cough
    • guafenesin (Mucinex or Robitussin) – helps break up mucous in lungs
    • dextromethorphan (Mucinex DM or Robitussin DM) – a cough suppressant
  • Congestion
    • humidified air – either use a commercial humidifier or steam from the shower to help break up congestion
    • nose strips
    • nasal saline or neti pot
    • diphenhydramine (Benadryl) – may cause drowsiness
    • Flonase or Nasacort nasal spray – steroid nasal spray which helps decrease swelling in your sinuses
    • loratidine (Claritin) or cetirizine (Zyrtec) – do not combine with Benadryl, but take as an alternative if Benadryl makes you too sleepy
    • pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) – should not be used in the first trimester. Avoid if you have blood pressure issues
    • Astelin nasal spray – use this medication sparingly and for no more than 48 hours. Itworks very well at relieving congestion, but when used for too long can cause reboundcongestion
  • Essential Oils
    • myrtle, ravintsara, peppermint, frankincense – these oils can be used separately or mixed together to form a blend
    • essential oil blends: RC (Young Living), Thieves (Young Living), On Guard (DoTerra), or Breathe (Do Terra)

○ Dilute 1 drop of essential oil to 1 drop of carrier oil (such as coconut, almond, grapeseed, or olive oil) and rub on the soles of the feet

If these over-the-counter symptoms are ineffective or if your symptoms persist for more than 10 days contact your healthcare provider.

Here’s some more natural suggestions for respiratory symptoms and infections!
Remember – when you are pregnant you are physically more vulnerable to infections and illnesses. It’s important to take care of your self and pay attention to your symptoms in order to avoid serious complications.

  • Drink lots of fluids (8+ large glasses of non-caffinated/non-sugary drinks per day) and nourishing foods (avoid high carb/high sugar processed foods)
  • Drink Ginger Tea (recipe below) from fresh ginger root and drink it with honey and lemon, several cups a day.
  • Make broth from shitake mushrooms, garlic, ginger, leeks and salt and drink several cups a day.
  • Irrigate your nose with saline and gargle with warm water and salt and or Listerine several times a day.
  • You may take Tylenol 2 Extra Strength (1,000 mg) every 8 hours for discomfort and to help you sleep.Please REST REST REST REST REST!!!!!
    Fever and cough together may indicate flu. Go to the CDC Website for Flu Information
  • Ginger Tea Recipe
  • Grate an entire ginger root into a large pot of good water. Bring it to a boil and then turn down to simmer and cover with a lid. Simmer for 1 hour. Keep it on the stove covered and drink several cups a day with lemon and honey. It will clear your lungs, nose and head, sooth your throat, and help you rest.Emergencies/When to seek help:Please contact the office if you experience high fever, shortness of breath, chest pain, relentless cough, or concerns about your pregnancy while ill. If you have a medical emergency, please go to the nearest emergency room.
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