If you have an earache during pregnancy, try a home remedy. Your earache may stem from wax buildup in the ear canal or you may have developed an ear infection. Sometimes, inflammation occurs as a result of pressure placed against your ear, which may happen from how you sleep or rest your head. Many women refrain from using any type of prescription-strength medications during pregnancy, preferring home remedies for treating minor aches and pain.
Apply warm, moist heat to the affected ear. Fill a water bottle with hot water and cover the bottle with a wet washcloth. Apply the compress to the ear or rest your head on the water bottle as you lie on your side. Most water bottles are large enough to cover the ear and adjacent areas that may also feel painful, such as the jaw.
Apply three drops of garlic extract into the ear. The pain you experience in your ear may stem from an ear infection. Garlic has antibacterial properties that work to fight off infection. A 2007 report published in the Continental Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences says that only one dose--consisting of three drops of garlic oil--should take care of an ear infection. Garlic extract is a safe home remedy, but when the scope or severity of the infection is unknown, there is no clear indication that a home remedy will clear up the infection.
Apply two drops of olive or mineral oil into the ear twice a day until pain subsides. Wax buildup can cause an earache from pain and pressure of hardened or blocked wax in the ear canal. The oil breaks down the wax so it can naturally migrate out of the ear. If you still feel pain after seven days of using the home remedy, visit your doctor. You may need to to have hardened wax removed by a doctor or other health care professional.
Take a dose of regular strength Tylenol to relieve the ache and pain associated with an earache. The FDA categorizes Tylenol—the North American trade name for acetaminophen--a relatively safe pain reliever to use for minor aches and pains during pregnancy. Do not exceed the maximum dose recommended on the product label or dosage permitted by your doctor.
Keep water out of your ears. Too much water in the ears can cause an earache and the warm, moist environment in the ear is a breeding ground for bacteria.
Do not wear earplugs to keep water out of the ears if you already have an earache. If the earache stems from wax buildup, the plugs may push the wax further into the ear canal, causing more pain and pressure in the ear.
Always talk to your doctor before taking any medicine or using alternative remedies if you are pregnant or nursing.
- "Continental J. Pharmaceutical Sciences”; Significance and Efficacy of Medicinal Plants in the Niger Delta; Blessing O. Green; 2007
- "Best Choices from the People's Pharmacy "; Joe Graedon, MS & Teresa Graedon, PhD; 2008
Cheryl Myers has has a master's degree from Saint Leo University and currently writes for several publications including Fit Pregnancy, Guideposts and Parent's Magazine.