Ill during pregnancy: what can I do?

Erkältung in der Schwangerschaft: Was kann ich dagegen tun? Erkältung in der Schwangerschaft: Was kann ich dagegen tun?

The information leaflet in the pack very often reads "this medicine should not be taken during pregnancy". But what if you're coming down with a cold or you just can't get rid of a cough?

Weakened immune system

During pregnancy, our immune system is not as strong as usual. We are more likely to catch an infection. Naturally, we tend to worry: how can we get well again? Will the infection harm the child? What remedies can we take without harming the baby? A feverish cold doesn't usually have any effect on the unborn child. But a coughing fit can be another major cause of worry: can the baby come to any harm if the stomach contracts uncomfortably during a coughing fit? Don't worry. The amniotic fluid protects your child both from external shocks and from the pressure caused by coughing.

Household remedies

Nevertheless, it is helpful for expectant mothers to be familiar with a repertoire of home remedies that are safe to take during pregnancy.

Preventing a cold

  • Strengthen your immune system: balanced diet, plenty of exercise in the fresh air
  • Avoid sick people and large groups of people (hand shaking, hugging and kissing)
  • Make breaks and time to relax part of your everyday routine. 

Cold or runny nose

  • Chest rub (thyme, marjoram, angelica)
  • Steam inhalations
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Depending on the ingredients, consult your pharmacist and/or doctor before using a nasal spray; however, sprays containing a salt water solution are harmless


  • Chest rub (many drug stores and pharmacies have their own special mixture)
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Inhalations
  • Plant-based cough syrup
  • Potato poultice
  • Cough medicines only after consulting with your doctor


  • Paracetamol (Dafalgan, Ben-u-ron) may be taken during pregnancy, but you should always speak to your midwife, doctor or pharmacist first.
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Leg compresses

Sore throats

  • Warm drinks (in the case of tea, pay attention to the herbal composition, as some blends can stimulate contractions. Therefore, always speak to your midwife, druggist or pharmacist first)
  • Keep your throat covered
  • Inhalations
  • Gargle (e.g. with sage tea)

The treating midwife, druggist or pharmacist can make personal suggestions for alternative treatments such as acupuncture, homeopathy, Schüssler salts, etc.


Recipe for flu-like infections:

  • 1 tsp linden flowers
  • 1 tsp elderflower
  • 1 tsp meadowsweet
  • 3l boiling water
  • Let steep for 10 minutes
  • Possibly add some lemon juice (Vit. C),
  • possibly add sweetener to taste

Cough syrup

  • 1 tsp sugar candy
  • 1 organic lemon (sliced)
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)

Layer the ingredients in a sealable jar. After a short time, a syrup will form. This can be taken one teaspoon at a time. Can be stored for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

These lists make no claims to completeness and must be adapted to the individual pregnant woman and her situation.

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