‘Tis the season—for coughing, fevers, and sneezing. It’s never fun to get hit with the cold or flu, but winter illness can be especially trying when you’re pregnant. As if it weren’t hard enough to figure out what you can and can’t do on a normal day, you’re now sick, desperate for relief, and stuck researching what is both safe for you to take and what will actually work to zap your symptoms.
To help you survive this cold and flu season, we’ve rounded up the answers to some of the most common questions about what’s safe to take—and what’s not!—when you start to feel that tickle in your throat that means something big is coming.
The Big Hitters: OTC Meds
Can you take DayQuil during pregnancy?
DayQuil has three main ingredients. While two of them pass the “pregnancy-safe test,” one of them does not, making this popular cold medicine a no-go. There are natural remedies that you can use instead, as well as other OTC options that don’t contain the problematic decongestant.
Read more about DayQuil and pregnancy
Can you take NyQuil during pregnancy?
Unfortunately, the same guidelines that apply to DayQuil also apply to NyQuil. The decongestant used in these medications (the same one that can be found in Sudafed), is not safe for growing babies. So, skip the NyQuil in favor of other forms of nighttime cold relief.
Read more about NyQuil and pregnancy
Can you take Theraflu during pregnancy?
Most of us have a routine: get the flu, immediately run to the pharmacy for some Theraflu. Unfortunately, the quick relief this medicine provides isn’t safe for those who are treating the flu for two.
Read more about Theraflu and pregnancy
Can you take Pepcid during pregnancy?
This one is a toss-up. While Pepcid is probably okay, there are some nuances that you should take into consideration when deciding whether it’s right for you.
Read more about Pepcid and pregnancy
Can you take Pepto Bismol during pregnancy?
While Pepto Bismol may be an easy go-to for any sort of stomach trouble when you’re not pregnant, it’s actually not safe during this time. But there are some alternatives that are just as easy to get that you can take to find relief.
Read more about Pepto Bismol and pregnancy
Can you take Alka Seltzer during pregnancy?
This classic remedy has changed a lot since your grandparents’ days, but that doesn’t make the question, “Is it safe to use during pregnancy?” any easier to answer. First, you’ll need to check the ingredient list of the specific version you’re considering. Second, you’ll probably want to consult your doctor.
Read more about Alka Seltzer and pregnancy
Can you take Vicks during pregnancy
The Vicks brand is all over the cold and flu market. Unfortunately, most of their offerings contain an ingredient or two that might not be the best to use while pregnant. Know what to look out for and when to talk to your doc.
Read more about Vicks during pregnancy
Can you take Aleve during pregnancy
This one is a big no. Your best bet to treat a fever, as well as any other aches and pains that come with the flu, is Tylenol (aka acetaminophen).
Read more about Aleve during pregnancy
Staying Hydrated Is Key
Can you drink Pedialyte during pregnancy?
Hydration is key during pregnancy, which is why we believe a positive test should come with a free Stanley. But it is particularly important to make sure you are getting enough H20 and electrolytes when you’re sick. Pedialyte is a good solution to the dehydration that comes with winter illness, but make sure not to go overboard.
Read more about Pedialyte during pregnancy
Can you use Liquid I.V. during pregnancy?
This popular electrolyte brand claims that its products are safe to use during pregnancy, but there just isn’t that much research available. Read about the pros and cons and then double check with your doctor.
Read more about Liquid I.V. and pregnancy
How to Avoid Getting Sick in the First Place
Can you take elderberry during pregnancy?
While elderberry is rich in antioxidants, the research is still on the fence as to how effective it is at preventing illness. But what isn’t in question is that it’s not recommended during pregnancy due to some potentially not-so-pleasant gastrointestinal side effects.
Read more about elderberry and pregnancy
Can you take 1000mg of vitamin C during pregnancy?
Vitamin C is great for pregnancy. Do you need 1000mg of it? Probably not. (And there’s a chance your prenatal vitamin has you covered here.)
Read more about vitamin C and pregnancy
Can you take Emergen-C during pregnancy?
The answer to this one is similar to that of taking a whole lot of vitamin C. It won’t hurt, but it probably won’t help or be quite as beneficial as eating your C via a healthy diet.
Read more about Emergen-C and pregnancy
Can you get a flu shot while pregnant?
Not only can you get a flu shot during pregnancy, most doctors recommend that you do.
Read more about the flu shot and pregnancy