Colds & Flu during Pregnancy

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Pregnant and catching bad colds

May 2006

This is my second pregnancy, and I'm finding myself catching a lot more colds and coughs than I did the first time around. In part, perhaps, because I have a preschooler. It's getting frustrating. I don't exactly catch colds all the time, but when I do they seem to develop into bad bronchitis. Last time I ended up with pleuritis (inflammation of the lungs) from coughing so hard. And then I got a yeast infection from the stupid antibiotics, even though i'd been devouring probiotic yogurt, and later a UTI. I know your immune system is somewhat lowered during pregnancy, but this is ridiculous. It's depressing me, because I can feel another bronchitis bout coming on again.

Is there anything safe -- homeopathic, for instance -- that I can take to boost my immune system? Should I visit a Chinese medicine practitioner? I'm open to trying something new. I'm eating pretty well and I take a prenatal vitamin. I try to do some exercise and get enough rest -- though our daughter is on a nap strike, which doesn't help. But I'm just so tired of feeling run down and catching these nasty coughs. Any other ideas? Thanks so much. Sick of being sick mom-to-be

Wash your hands constantly. And I mean constantly. You need to avoid the germs that are getting you sick in the first place. Carry a bottle of hand lotion with you and a packet of those little antiseptic wipes for your hands. Germs beware
I hear ya, sister! I'm pregnant and spent most of March with a cold and then a sinus infection. I think this has been a particularly bad year for viruses. I also have a toddler in day care who brings home germies. But, he hasn't been too sick. I've gotten 'em all. I recommend lots and lots of hand washing, lots and lots of vitamin C, lots and lots of water, and beyond that, hopes and prayers. I did get better recently only to be bombarded with allergies. It's fun being pregnant, sometimes, ain't it? Good luck. better now
I, too, am on my second pregnancy, and this winter I had 8 colds, with less than a week recovery between them. It was brutal (especially alongside a sick toddler), and I can't imagine bronchial complications on top of them! My doctor told me to supplement with an extra 500 mgs of vitamin C, which I started doing and have been well (knock wood) since March. Also, if you don't do this, you could start flushing your nasal passages with saline solution. I think you can buy spray, but you can also use a neti pot. It's not a repulsive as it sounds and it keeps things pretty well cleaned out. I do it if I'm ever around anyone who sniffles, and if I still get sick, it helps keep me decongested without drugs. Feel better soon!
It sounds like you might actually have a mild form of asthma. I've always had that lingering, hacking cough after every cold (since childhood), but was only recently diagnosed and treated for virally-induced asthma. Basically, some people's airways respond to a respiratory infection by getting super reactive, leading to spasms and nasty coughs. Often, this is misdiagnosed as bronchitis. So, it might be worth checking out that route. Accupuncture and homeopathy haven't helped me much so far. Instead, every time I get a cold I start inhaled corticosteroids for asthma (Pulmicort is officially ok for pregnancy), and most of all, religiously irrigate my sinuses with a neti pot to keep the gunk out of my lungs. Good luck! also coughing up a lung
You can make a tea consisting of garlic, lemon, and honey. Bring the garlic and lemon to a hard boil and use the honey to sweeten. You can use the garlic sparingly, or drink just the lemons. Also, try giving your preschooler Airborne and multi vitamins. LP
When I was sick with a bad cold in my second pregnancy, my midwife recommended a little old chinese herb store called Draline Tong Herbs. Most of the folks who work there speak only chinese, so ask for Henry. Henry will do a brief consultation (check your pulse, color of tongue, ask a few questions) and custom blend some herbs for your ailments. He is great and I would go to him again. The contact info are as follows: Draline Tong Herbs, ask for Henry, 1002 Webster St, Oakland. Please also take great care to include clean and nutrient-dense foods and reduce as much processed foods as possible. feel better!