Is Vicks Safe to Use When Pregnant

  • Pregnancy
    • UPDATED SEP 26, 2022

by Tasha Mayberry





Catching a cold when you are perfectly healthy and in the best shape can be uncomfortable and irritating at times. But, when you are already exhausted and in discomfort because of the huge belly, thanks to the beautiful life growing inside of you, even the simple cold can make you feel frustrated, making you want to get rid of the symptoms as soon as you can.

While it is widely believed that colds do not affect the fetus in your tummy health-wise, there is a study that indicates that the chances of kids whose mothers caught cold three times or more during their pregnancy to develop asthma before they reach 5 years of age are twice as high. But, let’s not get to conclusions because colds during pregnancy often tend to go away on their own.

Why Are Pregnant Women More Susceptible to Cold?

When you are pregnant, your immune system slows down to keep your body from thinking that your baby is a foreign object, thereby protecting your little one. While it is good for the growing life inside of you, it may not be such good news for you, as your chances of catching a cold increase than usual. This is because your body will be less capable of getting rid of the cold-causing viruses, as a result of which you would start experiencing cold-related symptoms like stuffed nose, sore throat, cough, etc.

If your cold symptoms are making you restless and you want to get them over with, one of the first medications that come to your mind would be Vicks. When you are pregnant, it goes without saying that you should be careful about the medications that you take. In that case, is Vicks safe to use when pregnant?

Ingredients in Vicks

Vicks VapoRub

As you would be aware, there are a lot of Vicks products available to fight cold, of which Vicks VapoRub happens to be the most commonly used one. The active ingredients in this product are camphor, eucalyptus oil, and menthol, all of which are mainly cough suppressants. These ingredients are known to be safe for pregnant women, and they do a great job of drying up your runny nose and provide relief from stuffed nose, cough, and sore throat. Even the inactive ingredients in Vicks VapoRub, such as nutmeg oil, cedarleaf oil, turpentine oil, and thymol are included in minimal quantities, and therefore they cause no harm to your or your unborn baby. Available in the form of an ointment, this Vicks product can be rubbed on the back, throat, or chest for quick relief. Alternatively, you could also add it to hot water and inhale the vapors.

Vicks VapoInhaler

This is a non-medicated nasal inhaler that provides you with Vicks Vapors that can make you feel refreshed instantly. The active ingredients in this product are menthol, camphor, Siberian fir oil, and methyl salicylate. While most of the ingredients here are safe for pregnant women, the last one – methyl salicylate is expected to cause bleeding in pregnant women when it is used during the third trimester or maybe even harmful for the baby. Therefore, if you have stuffed nose and think the VapoInhaler could give you some amount of relief, it is in your best interest to consult your doctor before using it.

Vicks Sinex VapoCOOL Nasal Spray

Nasal congestion can be a gruesome part of catching a cold, and a congestion relief product like the Vicks Sinex VapoCOOL Nasal Spray can be a lifesaver during such times. The active ingredient in this product is Oxymetazoline, which can be commonly seen in most nasal decongestants. Since only a small amount of the medication will be absorbed systematically, there will be only minimal exposure to the fetus, which means the spray is safe for use during pregnancy.

While topical applicants may not cause any harm to you or your growing baby during pregnancy, if you are thinking about taking something internally, like the Vicks DayQuil, you should consult with your doctor beforehand.

Go Natural

If you don’t want to deal with all the fuss associated with both topical and internal medications used during your pregnancy, the best way for you to fight your cold is to try natural remedies. As soon as you start experiencing cold-related symptoms, use a humidifier or vaporizer at night, and in this case, you could add Vicks VapoSteam for best results. You could also add a little bit of Vicks VapoRub to hot water and inhale the vapors to attain some relief from nasal congestion, headache, and other cold symptoms.

If you already have a cold, increase your liquid intake, and your drinks can include decaffeinated tea, hot soups, and even hot water. Increase your intake of vitamin C, which means eat more citrus-rich foods, like strawberries, kiwi, spinach, oranges, broccoli, mango, etc., as vitamin C can naturally improve the functioning of your immune system.

If you are experiencing a sore throat, try gargling with warm salty water. Honey is also an excellent ingredient to suppress cough, especially the dry kind. Take a few teaspoons of honey directly, or mix the same in a glass of hot water and add a dash of lemon juice to it.

When to Seek Doctor’s Help?

You should seek your doctor’s help immediately if:

  • You are finding it difficult to breathe.
  • You experience bleeding.
  • You feel contractions.
  • You come down with the flu.
  • Your temperature is higher than 102 degrees.
  • You are coughing up mucus yellowish or greenish.
  • You experience wheezing.
  • Your symptoms continue for more than a week.

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