Catching a cold during pregnancy is nothing out of the ordinary. In most cases, it passes quickly. The best things to do are simply common home remedies like plenty of tea, rest and sleep. But if, in addition to a cold, you also have a severe cough, severe pain, or a fever, you should seek medical attention. It is true that harmless viruses are usually behind a cold. Sometimes, however, the trigger can be a real viral flu, short for influenza. This can be more severe than a common cold and can lead to pneumonia or other complications. Taking antibiotics does not help with colds, because they are ineffective against viruses. However, if the symptoms are severe, painkilling or fever-reducing medicines may be helpful. However, you should never take medication on your own, but only after consulting with doctors or midwives. They know which treatments are suitable for pregnant people and won’t harm the pregnancy.

The onset of a cold is usually gradual and does not pose a danger to the pregnancy. Mild symptoms such as a scratchy throat herald an oncoming cold. This is usually followed by a runny nose, often together with a slight fever and cough. If you have a cold or trouble breathing, you can inhale hot salt water or chamomile tea. However, if the symptoms are unusually severe and if you have a fever or pain, you should make an appointment with your doctor to have the cause clarified. To be able to tell the difference between a cold and the flu, doctors will take a throat swab or test your blood for certain antibodies. If you only have a blocked nose, this does not necessarily indicate a cold. It may also be a pregnancy rhinitis. This is triggered by hormones and is not dangerous at all.

A real flu usually comes on suddenly. Typical signs are high fever, headache, aching limbs and a general feeling of malaise. If you have any of these symptoms, you should make an appointment at a doctor's office as soon as possible. You also don't have to suffer through fever and pain unnecessarily for fear of harming your pregnancy. Doctors know which medicines are also suitable for pregnant people. Just be sure to tell the office staff that you're expecting.

The best way to protect yourself from the flu is to avoid catching it in the first place. To prevent this, you should stay away from people who have colds whenever possible. It is also important to practice regular hygiene rules during pregnancy. This includes washing your hands thoroughly on a regular basis and avoiding large gatherings of people. Many doctors also advise vaccination. Experts recommend that all pregnant people get vaccinated against influenza starting in the second trimester. The influenza vaccines approved in Germany for adults do not contain active virus and are therefore, according to experts, harmless. If you have diabetes or asthma, you should get vaccinated starting in the first months of pregnancy. The antibodies your body makes after a flu shot enter the fetus’s body through the placenta. This will also protect your baby from the flu in the first few months of life. In addition, you can strengthen your defenses by eating a healthy diet, getting plenty of exercise in the fresh air, doing gentle exercise and not smoking or drinking alcohol.