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Coughs and Colds in Pregnancy

Prevention is better than a cure! 

 
Prevention is better than a cure!
 
When you get your flu shot, your body starts to make antibodies that help protect you and your baby against the flu.
Why get a flu shot?
 
  • Even if you are generally healthy, changes in immune, heart, and lung functions during pregnancy make you more likely to get seriously ill from the flu.
  • Pregnant women who get the flu are at higher risk of hospitalization, and even death, than non-pregnant women.
  • Severe illness in the pregnant mother can also be dangerous to her fetus.
  •  When you get your flu shot, your body starts to make antibodies that help protect you and your baby against the flu.
  • Antibodies can be passed on to your unborn baby, and help protect the baby for up to six months after he or she is born.
See the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention flyer on why pregnant women need a flu shot. Download: Pregnant? You Need a Flu Shot!
 
Wash your hands

 Washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol hand rub) is the most important method of preventing the spread of infection.Washing your hands with soap and water (or using an alcohol hand rub) is the most important method of preventing the spread of infection. This is why you will see all the staff washing their hands before and after caring for their patients. We encourage patients, families and visitors to also wash their hands frequently.

Seasonal allergies

  • Avoid exposure to allergy triggers
  • Keep windows in your house and car closed when pollen and mold levels are high (spring and summer for pollen, late summer and fall for molds)
  • Chlorpheniramine (eg. Chlor-Tripolon), diphenhydramine (Benadryl), Ioratadine (Claritin) and cetirizine (Reactine) are first-line anti-histamines for the treatment of allergies during pregnancy

Cough

  • To help eliminate secretions, drink plenty of water
  • Dextromethorphan syrup (e.g. Benylin DM) can be used to relieve a dry cough
  • Most cough drops (e.g. Halls) are safe in pregnancy
  • Consult your family doctor if:
    ○ Your cough persists beyond seven (7) days
    ○ It is a productive cough with greenish secretions
    ○ You have a fever (over 38°C oral)
    ○ If you have trouble breathing/have wheezing
  • Avoid preparations containing pseudoephedrine
    ○ these are usually medications that say they will clear your sinuses
    ○ Speak to your doctor
    or pharmacist if you are unsure

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Sore throat

  • Gargling with salt water for 15 seconds every hour may help relieve a sore throat throat
  • Lozenges (e.g. Halls) can be used
  • Acetominophen (e.g. Tylenol) can also relieve a sore throat
  • Consult your family doctor if:
    ○ Your symptoms are not improving after three days
    ○ You have a fever (over 38°C oral)

Reasons to see your doctor
  • If you have a fever over 38°C oral
  • If your symptoms are not improving after three days
  • If you have a cough with greenish/yellow secretions
  •  If you have trouble breathing/have wheezing


Nasal congestion and cold

  • Use nasal saline solution (e.g. Salinex or salt water recipe)
    ○ Add 1/2 tsp (2.5 ml) of salt (not more) to 1 cup (250 ml or 8 oz) of cooled boiled water. It is important to use precise measurements.
  • If it does not work, use a nasal spray decongestant such as xylometazoline (e.g. Otrivin) or oxymetazoline (e.g. Dristan) for a maximum of three (3) days. Extended use could aggravate your congestion.
  •  If the congestion persists beyond the period of treatment, consult your family doctor


Fever

  • Acetominophen (e.g. Tylenol) can help lower your fever
  • An oral temperature of 38 to 38.4°C should be evaluated by your care provider
See your doctor if you have a fever over 38 degress celsius oral.
Prevention is better than a cure!
 

You must not rely on the information on this website as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or other professional healthcare provider. If you have any specific questions about any medical matter you should consult your healthcare provider. If you think you may be suffering from any medical condition you should seek immediate medical attention. You should never delay seeking medical advice, disregard medical advice, or discontinue medical treatment because of information on this website.