University of Michigan Health System
http://www.med.umich.edu/1busi/sysorg.htm http://www.med.umich.edu/1libr/1libr.htm http://www.med.umich.edu/1toolbar/visinfo.htm http://www.med.umich.edu/1info/fhp/index.htm

This information is approved and/or reviewed by U-M Health System providers but it is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to your physician or make an appointment to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition.
Exención de responsabilidad en Español | Complete disclaimer

U-M Health SystemThis information is approved and/or reviewed by U-M Health System providers but it is not a tool for self-diagnosis or a substitute for medical treatment. You should speak to your physician or make an appointment to be seen if you have questions or concerns about this information or your medical condition.

UMHS Home

Colds and Flu During Pregnancy

What if I catch a cold or flu during pregnancy?

During the course of your pregnancy, it is possible that you may catch a cold or flu virus. Because your immune system is affected during pregnancy, your symptoms may persist longer than usual. Nasal stuffiness is very common in pregnancy because of hormonal effects on the nasal passages. If other cold symptoms are not present, you probably do not have a cold.

What measures may help to make me feel more comfortable?

If you should catch a cold or flu, the following measures may help to make you feel more comfortable:

  • Increase your fluid intake to eight to 10 glasses of liquids per day. Water is important, of course, but juices, pop and both all provide extra fluids, as well as nutritional intake at a time when your appetite may be decreased.
  • If you do not feel like eating, try to maintain your nutritional intake with six small meals instead of three regular size meals.
  • Increase your rest periods.
  • You may want to elevate your head to enhance breathing and decrease post-nasal drip.
  • Use a steamer to help loosen secretions. If you do not have a steamer, you can sit with a towel draped over your head and shoulders over a pan of steaming water. Cool vapor from a vaporizer may also be helpful.
  • If you are having pain in your sinus area, the areas above and below your eyes and across your cheekbones, apply warm compresses to help alleviate the congestion.

What if I have a temperature?

Monitor your temperature at least once daily, and call your health care professional if your temperature rises over 101 oF. You should also call the clinic if you begin to cough up green/yellow sputum or experience shortness of breath, persistent chest pain, or severe sore throat. If you are less than 12 weeks pregnant, or more than 38 weeks, we prefer that you use no medication unless recommended by your physician.

What over-the-counter medications can I take during pregnancy?

After 12 weeks of pregnancy, you may use the following over-the-counter medications sparingly for cold symptoms according to package directions:

  • Sudafed nasal decongestant
  • Robitussin and Robitussin DM cough syrups
  • Expectorant during daytime hours (to help bring secretions up)
  • Suppressant at night (to help control cough and promote rest)
  • Vicks plain cough syrup
  • Tylenol (generic name acetaminophen) for aches, pains, and temperatures over 100 oF

When you catch the flu with nausea, vomiting and/or diarrhea, it is important to maintain your nutritional intake. A liquid diet is the best way to do this, as liquids enable the bowel and/or stomach to rest. A clear liquid diet consists of juices, pop, water, Jello, ice chips, broth, and Popsicles.

Once you have tolerated clear liquids, a very nutritious shake can be made in a blender with ice cream or milk and fruit of your choice. Dry carbohydrates, such as toast or crackers, may be helpful once your appetite begins to return. If there is no improvement in your symptoms after 24 hours, you should call your health care professional.

[an error occurred while processing this directive]