Can You Use Vicks While Pregnant? [BE VERY CAUTIOUS]

can you use vicks while pregnant

Pregnancy can make you full-on paranoid. You are over-cautious even when using Vicks when experiencing flu symptoms. However, do you really have to be so cautious? What to do with the pesky sore throat that doesn’t let you lie down easily? Can you use Vicks while pregnant?

Vicks Vapor Rub can offer magical relief to flu symptoms. However, there are risks related to it, especially to Vicks capsules, which must be avoided at all costs. The best thing you can do is try to limit your treatment to steam and heat during throat irritation, as it is beneficial and completely safe.

What Is Vicks Made Of?

If you are not sure about using a product during pregnancy, look at the back to check out its ingredients. You can individually check if you are allergic to any ingredient or which ingredients are not good during pregnancy.

The same goes for Vicks VapoRub. Vicks inhaler has the composition of camphor, methanol, eucalyptus oil, and turpentine oil. While consuming camphor orally is harmful to pregnancy to the extent that it can lead to a miscarriage, inhaling it for a stuffy nose is safe and reduces your nasal problems during the flu. But camphor is present in about 15% of Vicks, so you have to stay cautious about it. 

It can only harm your baby if consumed in huge amounts, which you are obviously not going to do. Eucalyptus oil is safe for both inhaling and oral use. So it presents no danger. Turpentine oil is only harmful if consumed orally. But in Vicks, its quantity is minimal, and if inhaled, it won’t cause serious health problems.

The last one is methanol. It is safe if consumed in extremely small amounts. But it is better to avoid it. If inhaled, it is great for relieving congestion. Other minor ingredients like petrolatum, thymol, and other oils are present in low amounts in the Vicks VapoRub. They shouldn’t be used orally.

There are multiple types of Vicks products, such as Vicks sinex decongestant capsules, nasal strips, inhalers, and whatnot. You must make sure to avoid the ingredients that are harmful during pregnancy:

  • Ephedrine
  • Phenylephrine hydrochloride

Both these ingredients can cause problems for the developing fetus. Furthermore, the dosage of Vicks products should also be monitored. For example, during pregnancy, Vicks VapoRub’s use should be limited to four times a day.

If taken in excess, these ingredients can harm you and even cause a miscarriage.

Can I Use Vicks While Breastfeeding?

It is not right to use Vicks Vaporub while breastfeeding, as Vicks VaporRub is meant for the chest area. It contains camphor, which can prove lethal if consumed and puts the baby at risk of consuming it through the nipples. Not only can the baby consume it but also inhale the fumes, which are not good for his fragile system.

It is better to use saline nose drops or any other oral medicine that doesn’t affect your breast milk. You may not be pregnant anymore, but your baby can feel the negative effects of your medications, so be very careful with what you put inside your body.

Safe medications can only be recommended by your doctor, so try to keep him in the loop. Pregnant women are better off with VapoRub if they don’t have any prior allergies. But as a breastfeeding mom, you should avoid it and instead resort to methods like steam and nasal spray to improve your cold symptoms.

This way, both the mother and the baby can remain safe and get rid of the flu. Additionally, try to have warm fluids and recover quickly so that the baby doesn’t get a cold too.

Is Smelling Vicks Dangerous?

Smelling Vicks is not dangerous during pregnancy if your chest congestion is not improving. You can smell Vick’s inhaler, which looks like a balm. It is meant for smelling to open your sinuses, relieve congestion, and reduce throat irritation. You can also rub it on your chest overnight for relief.

Additionally, the nasal saline spray is safe to use if your doctor recommends it. It helps as a decongestant and removes your discomfort. But make sure to ask your doctor before using it. Ensure you do not ingest any of these products, and you are good to go.

Are Vicks Capsules Safe?

Not all Vicks products are safe. For example, you can’t use Vicks sinex decongestant capsules if your body doesn’t take it well. Only your doctor can decide if you can take it because he is aware of your medical history. The primary problem with taking these capsules is that they contain harmful phenylephrine, which can cause birth defects. It can also slow down fetus development, which can prove fatal for your health and, of course, for the unborn baby.

In place of Vicks capsules, Tylenol or paracetamol are considered better options that are relatively safer. Even then, you need to make sure your healthcare provider gives you a thumbs up before consuming them.

Similarly, you should, at all costs, avoid taking nasal spray if it is not recommended by your doctor. It has Oxymetazoline, which is also unsafe to be used in pregnancy, especially in the long term.

But the most deadly Vicks product that should never, I repeat never, be used is Vicks Nyquil. Doctors never suggest it, and you should also stay clear of it if you want a healthy pregnancy for yourself and your baby.

Can You Take Cough Syrup While Pregnant?

Can You Take Cough Syrup While Pregnant

If cough syrup is safe depends upon its composition and the condition of the pregnant woman. Women with different medical conditions respond differently to cough medications, even if it is cough syrup. But it is better to avoid cough syrup till the baby is born. Try other remedies and simple medications recommended by your doctor instead.

Not all cough suppressants are beneficial for the pregnant mom. If you have no idea your cough syrup is right for you, you can always contact your doctor or try to use an alternative like VapoRub.

You must avoid illegal drugs or any such things that can in any way be problematic for your health. Endure a cold, but don’t let harmful medication turn it into a yeast infection or, worst, disturbed blood flow. Avoid over-the-counter medications for coughs and colds, and be more focused on green tea and warm baths.

Can Vicks Hurt an Infant?

Vicks can’t hurt an infant if the right product is used and the child has no allergies. But for children under the age of 2, the parents need to be careful, as the child’s body systems are in the initial stages, and immunity is just developing. 

If antibiotics and capsules are introduced at such an early stage, the child’s body will become used to them, and it will negatively affect the body’s immunity.

This can cause multiple problems for the child later in life. As far as Vicks is concerned, don’t use anything more than an inhaler or Vicks VaporRub, as anything more than that can put your infant in harm’s way.

What are Other Natural Ways to Get Rid of a Cold During Pregnancy?

Pregnancy is hard for your body as you can’t take medications by yourself to ease something as common as the flu. But this is the time to try all your grandma’s remedies to get some relief. Some simple things that you can do by yourself are:


Flu and fever drain your energy. The best thing you can do is make sure your body is well rested. Try to get some sleep and enjoy some warm treats in bed. It would be like taking a break! Plus, it would help with the flu if you are warm under your sheets.

Fluid Treatment

Fluids are your best friend in fighting off the flu. They not only keep you from getting dehydrated but also allow you an immunity boost, which fights viral infections from hurting you any further. So keep your fluids by your bedside.


Gargling is considered one of the most effective ways to give relief to throat irritation. It also overcomes coughing. You can try gargles in saltwater. Salt has many antiseptic effects, and this is one of them. Warm saltwater will not only give ease your irritation but act as an excellent decongestant as well.


Honey has numerous health benefits, but in this particular case taking honey with warm water can do wonders for your throat. Just a teaspoon in one cup and repeat the activity for a week. You will see a marked difference in your cold symptoms.

Warm Baths

If your runny nose and body aches remain prominent no matter what you do, try taking a hot water bath. It will not only open your sinuses but also drain all the pain and stress from your body.

Try these hacks and see for yourself how unnecessary Vicks products are when you can make your flu go away and also be safe during pregnancy. Don’t lose heart if one remedy doesn’t work. Try another one till you have fully recovered from the cold.

Things To Remember!

If you are pregnant and facing a lot of trouble due to a stuffy or runny nose or can barely breathe, you should know that you can use the right Vicks products safely. Now that we have collected all the important notes on whether to use Vicks while pregnant, it is time to review them:

Vicks can be used as VapoRub but not in the form of capsules during pregnancy. VapoRub should also only be used in limited amounts, as excess can prove deadly too. The main purpose here is to open your nasal passages and allow you to breathe freely, which is possible even if you safely inhale the Vicks inhaler or Vicks VapoRub.

Always try to read the ingredients individually before taking medication during pregnancy. If you are personally allergic to an ingredient or any harmful ingredient is present in Vicks, immediately shun the thought of using it. 

Safe medications for some can be harmful to others, so always keep your medical history in front of you and inform your doctor beforehand if you have any prior allergies or diseases so that he can suggest medications accordingly.

Stick to home remedies. They are slowly effective but are better than medications that can harm your or your baby’s health. After all, your baby’s health and your well-being are the priority. Other than this, try to remain hopeful and not put yourself down on something as common as the flu. It will eventually go away, and you will feel fresh again.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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