Treating a Cold

Reviewed by Nivin Todd, MD on August 05, 2020

You might be more vulnerable to colds and flu during pregnancy. Your immune system naturally lowers slightly so your body won't reject your developing baby. Experts recommend you take extra care to try to avoid exposure to viruses. 

If you're not sick and haven't already done so, get the flu shot. It's safe at any stage of pregnancy. Pregnant women are at greater risk for complications from the flu.

If you do get sick, talk to your doctor. Antibiotics won't help treat a cold. And some medicines to treat cold symptoms aren't safe during pregnancy. Your doctor can tell you which medicines are safe for pregnant women.

If you have a stuffy nose and no other symptoms, it's not likely a cold. Nasal stuffiness is common during pregnancy because of the increased blood circulation and those pesky hormone shifts.

Call Doctor If:

Step-by-Step Care:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Rest and eat well to keep your immune system working at its best.
  • Use a cool mist humidifier and saline nasal spray to clear congestion.
  • Take acetaminophen (Tylenol) for aches and pains or headache associated with a cold.


Show Sources


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Your Pregnancy and Childbirth, Month to Month, 5th edition, 2010.

CDC: "Pregnancy and Flu."

Cleveland Clinic: "Colds and Pregnancy."

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