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Falling ill with a cold during pregnancy can be a concern for many expectant mothers. The dilemma often revolves around whether or not to take medication. The fear of potential harm to the baby makes many pregnant women reluctant to take medication, even when they are feeling unwell. While a mild cold can often resolve itself after a few days of rest without causing significant harm to the fetus, more severe symptoms, if left untreated, could lead to complications like viral myocarditis or pneumonia, jeopardizing both the mother and the fetus. It’s essential to assess the severity of the symptoms and take appropriate measures.

The Risks of Cold and Flu Medications

Many over-the-counter cold and flu remedies, such as compound aspirin tablets and antipyretic tablets, contain ingredients like aspirin, finasteride, and caffeine. Other commonly used medications like quick-acting cold tablets and compound paracetamol include acetaminophen, an antipyretic and analgesic. Research indicates that aspirin might pose risks during pregnancy, potentially causing fetal malformations if taken in early pregnancy. Furthermore, prolonged or excessive aspirin use can interfere with blood clotting and increase miscarriage risks. Additionally, some ingredients, such as caffeine, finasteride, and aminopyralid, might have adverse effects on cellular processes and human hematopoietic function.

Given these concerns, it’s best to avoid or limit the use of these medications during pregnancy. If needed for a medical condition, they should only be taken under a doctor’s supervision.

Safe Cold Treatments for Pregnant Women

The primary approach for pregnant women battling a cold should focus on controlling the infection, eliminating the virus, and reducing fever:

  • Hydration and Rest: Drinking ample boiled water and ensuring sufficient rest can aid recovery.
  • Physical Therapies: For high fevers, physical cooling methods, like placing ice packs on the forehead and neck, can help. Additionally, non-pharmacological treatments, such as massages, acupressure, and qigong, can be effective for milder symptoms.
  • Herbal Remedies: Certain herbs like Banlangen, Dazhengye, and Honeysuckle are known to have antiviral properties and can be taken in various forms. However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before taking any herbal remedies.
  • Food Therapy: For those with mild symptoms, consider water-based decoctions made from ginger slices, white onions, and black beans. For summer colds, a blend of fresh patchouli, pellitory, mint, and lotus leaves can be beneficial.

While some traditional Chinese medicines can offer relief, others might be harmful during pregnancy. Ingredients that promote menstruation or are extremely pungent or hot, like peach kernel and dry ginger, should be used with caution. Others, like bacopa monnieri and petunia seeds, are strictly prohibited during pregnancy.

In conclusion, while the natural inclination might be to reach for over-the-counter cold remedies, it’s essential for pregnant women to proceed with caution. Consulting a healthcare professional and opting for safer, alternative therapies can ensure both the mother’s and baby’s well-being.

CHANG Qing, JIANG Rui. “How to treat colds in pregnant women.” Family Medicine, 2008, No.81(09):48.

Joy of Life

Author Joy of Life

Joy of Life is a compassionate surrogacy agency committed to creating life, fostering joy and nurturing dreams. We are experts in our field, with team members boasting extensive experience in the clinical, psychological and legal aspects of surrogacy. But more than that, we are a family — a community bound by the shared purpose of helping others realize the joy of parenthood.

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