Cold During Pregnancy
A cold used to be no big deal, but now that you're pregnant, it's a huge hassle. We've got all the answers you're looking for, including what's safe to take (and how to treat your cold with no medicine at all!) and how to prevent getting sick again.
What is the common cold during pregnancy?
There are actually more than 200 viruses that can cause “the common cold,” an infection of the upper respiratory tract. You’re more prone to colds -- and they can last longer -- while you’re expecting, because pregnancy suppresses the immune system. If this is the first cold you’ve had since you’ve been pregnant, you’re probably wondering how the heck to deal with one while you’re pregnant.
What are the signs of a cold?
You know these by heart: nasal congestion, a cough and a sore throat are telltale signs. You might also have a low-grade fever.
It can be hard, though, to tell the difference between cold symptoms and typical side effects of pregnancy. “A runny nose and feeling tired can be normal symptoms of pregnancy,” says Sharon Phelan, MD, a professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the University of New Mexico. “Your blood volume increases by 40 percent during pregnancy, so all the blood vessels become more dilated. You’ve got a lot of blood vessels in your nose, so you can have more nasal discharge. And the hormones of pregnancy, particularly progesterone, tend to make you really tired.”
Are there any tests for a cold?
Nope, not really. Colds are most often diagnosed by their symptoms. If you have a runny nose (beyond your usual pregnancy nose), sore throat and cough, then you probably have a cold -- especially if the people you’re closest to (hello, hubby!) have colds too.
How common is a cold during pregnancy?
It’s called the common cold for a reason! Most women will experience at least one cold during their pregnancy.
How did I get the cold virus?
It’s easy to catch a cold. Cold viruses are spread by direct contact and through the air, so it could’ve been transmitted through something you touched or even by being near someone else with a cold.
How will my cold affect my baby?
It won’t. While you feel miserable, baby’s doing just fine.
See next page for treatments, prevention, resources and tips from other moms-to-be.