COVID-19 Home Treatment When Pregnant. What Is Safe And What Isn’t?

in Immune System, Infectious Disease, Pregnancy, Respiratory

Pregnant women are more susceptible to COVID-19 and more at risk of developing severe disease. It is important that more reliable information become available about safe ways to treat mild COVID-19 at home for women who are pregnant and breastfeeding and this is my contribution. 

Safety Concerns In Pregnancy

It can be confusing to know what herbs, vitamins, supplements and medications are safe to take during pregnancy. The negative effects to avoid can be placed into two broad categories. 

  1. Herbs and drugs that can cause pregnancy loss. 
  2. Herbs and drugs that can interfere with normal development.  

There is some nuance to herb and drug safety during pregnancy. For example, some herbs that cause pregnancy loss are a concern in the first trimester, but not later on, while other herbs and drugs are a concern at any time. That can get confusing, so for simplicity, I’ve erred on the side of caution. 

Therefore, some of the herbs and drugs that I say to avoid may be considered safe in certain circumstances and under the guidance and monitoring of a qualified professional. Please don’t disregard any medical advice based on what you read here. 

It bears repeating that the information in this article is information and not advice. Please always discuss treatment with a doctor, especially while pregnant. 

COVID-19 Treatment Rationale

You may have read the original post, where I shared what I am doing to treat COVID-19 for my (non-pregnant) self. This post is modeled after that one with modifications for pregnancy. 

The information is divided up into three sections: 1) immunomodulators and antivirals 2) nutrition foundation 3) symptom management. 

Immune Boosters & Antivirals

Medicinal mushrooms

Medicinal mushrooms are a safe and effective way to improve immune function during pregnancy. Chaga, cordyceps, and shiitake are all under investigation as potential COVID-19 treatments because of their antiviral properties. My Mother’s Immunity Support supplement contains these and 11 other medicinal mushrooms that have a beneficial effect on the immune system. 

Melatonin (2.5-10mg before bed)

Melatonin has shown benefit in COVID-19 and is a part of the Frontline Doctor’s I-MASK+ protocol
 for treating mild COVID-19 at home. A 2021 review of the research provides convincing evidence that melatonin is most likely safe in pregnancy.

Vitamin D (2,000-5,000 IU)

Despite prenatal supplementation, Vitamin D deficiency is common in pregnant women. Vitamin D plays an important role in regulating the immune system. Low Vitamin D levels are associated with increased risk of COVID-19 infection.  Ideally, pregnant women should have their Vitamin D levels checked and should base supplementation off of that with the advice of their doctor. 2,000- 5,000 IU is what is currently considered safe in pregnancy, but a doctor may recommend more on a case by case basis. 

Vitamin A (maximum 10,000 IU per day)

Vitamin A is not part of the I-MASK+ protocol, but I included it in my personal protocol [link to covid blog] because evidence suggests that it is a safe and affordable add-on that has positive effects on the immune system and in treating other RNA viruses. Excess Vitamin A can potentially harm a developing infant. 10,000 IU per day is the maximum safe dose.  Remember to include the amount of Vitamin A that you are getting in your prenatal in this calculation

Quercetin (125mg twice daily) 

Quercetin is anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and immunomodulating. It shows promise as a treatment for COVID-19. There aren’t any human studies of quercetin in pregnancy yet, but animal studies unanimously show safety. Some sources recommend not taking quercetin in pregnancy because of a lack of human data. 

Turmeric (50mg per day in one capsule of Essential Immune Support; 500mg twice per day recommended by Frontline Doctors 

Turmeric is an antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory. A dose of 50mg per day (the amount in one capsule of Essential Immune Support) is not likely to be significantly helpful against COVID-19, but this could be augmented with a separate turmeric supplement if desired. Turmeric is considered safe in pregnancy based on animal studies and historical use

Vitamin C (500-1000mg twice per day or to bowel tolerance)

Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that is important for optimal immune function. High doses can cause diarrhea. If that occurs, the dose is reduced to what the body can absorb while maintaining normal bowel movements. Frontline Doctors recommend 500-1000mg twice per day. Doses up to 2,000mg per day are considered safe in pregnancy

Zinc (40mg per day)

Frontline Doctors recommend 100mg per day of zinc for treatment of early COVID-19. Zinc supplementation seems quite safe in pregnancy. Amounts of up to 90mg per day have been studied, but the tolerable upper limit for zinc in pregnancy is considered 40mg per day

Reduced Glutathione (25mg per day) 

Glutathione is one of the body’s most important antioxidants and plays a role in the immune system as well. Glutathione deficiency is associated with worse outcomes in COVID-19. 25mg is a low dose of glutathione and is most likely safe and beneficial during pregnancy, though we don’t have any studies to confirm this yet. 

Selenium (100mcg per day) 

Selenium is an important mineral for optimal immune function. Selenium deficiency is linked with worse COVID-19 symptoms and increased chance of death. The maximum intake of selenium while pregnant is 400mcg per day.

Povidone Iodine nasal spray three times per day.

This is a nasal antiseptic antiviral that works to reduce viral load in initial studies. Frontline Doctors recommend using this nasal spray for a maximum of 5 days when pregnant.

Mouthwash containing chlorhexidine, povidone iodine, or cetylpiridinium chloride gargle three times per day.

These are antiseptic antivirals that work to reduce the viral load in initial studies.

Oscillococcinum (daily)

Oscillococcinum is a homeopathic preparation that we always have on hand for the treatment of the flu. It has been effective for treating past viral illnesses in my family. When I was researching this article, I found one case series looking at the efficacy of adjunctive homeopathic treatment of COVID-19, and I believe it is worth considering. Oscillococcinum (and all high potency homeopathics) are safe to take while breastfeeding.

The supplements above (aside from the nasal spray, mouth wash, and Oscillococcinum) are available in my C-19 Immune Support Bundle or you can purchase them separately from the Dr. Green Mom store.

Nutritional FoundationDrink water when pregnant - Dr. Green Mom

Reduced appetite and thirst are common symptoms of COVID-19. However, it is important to stay hydrated and to keep your nutrient intake up in order to heal. It is important not to fast during viral infections because maintaining normal blood glucose levels helps the body’s immune response against viral infections. The following three liquids are a good foundation, but need to be supplemented with whatever healthy food you’re able to comfortably consume. 


If I’m not drinking lemon balm tea with Ginger Ease or my homemade electrolyte drink, then I’ve got a water bottle or thermos of hot water nearby at all times. 

Electrolyte drink

I prefer my homemade recipe. Unsweetened coconut water is the second best option. I drink approximately 1 cup per day.

Bone broth

Bone broth is a source of easily digested nutrients, especially protein, which is needed to keep the immune system functioning optimally. 

Symptom Management

Lemon Balm Tea With Ginger Ease (2-3 cups per day) 

Lemon balm and ginger are both considered safe in pregnancy and may help ease some of the symptoms of COVID-19. Lemon balm is also great for stress and anxiety and is good at any time during pregnancy. 

Tylenol (as needed for pain)

Painkillers are problematic during pregnancy, however Tylenol is generally considered safest. Use as little as possible to keep pain and fever under control.

Movement (at least every four hours)

Movement is important to keep the circulatory system healthy and to help prevent blood clots.

Breathe Right Nasal Strips can be worn up to 24 hours a day to ease difficulty breathing.

Notes On The Supplements And Therapies Removed From The Original COVID-19 ProtocolCOVID-19 Home Treatment When Pregnant - Dr. Green Mom

Black Cumin Seed Oil (Nigella sativa). There is anecdotal evidence that Black Cumin Seed Oil is safe to consume in food amounts during pregnancy, but there isn’t evidence about consuming larger quantities like the ones described in the I-Mask+ Protocol. Animal studies with Black Cumin Seed oil show mixed safety results, especially at higher doses. Some doctors may feel comfortable prescribing this in certain cases and some wouldn’t. 

Vitamin A in doses over 10,000 IU have been demonstrated to be harmful in pregnancy, therefore the 100,000 IU three day megadose is not recommended in pregnancy.

Aspirin & Ibuprofen are generally not recommended during pregnancy. However, your doctor may recommend them for short term use to manage pain and/or fever. 

Hot Shower With Eucalyptus Essential Oil. Hot showers longer than 15 minutes are associated with an increased rate of birth defects and aren’t recommended. Eucalyptus essential oil is usually not recommended in pregnancy. Consult a doctor or aromatherapist. 

Heating pad over low back and sacrum. The heating pad helps with muscle pain and chills. It also improves lower body circulation to prevent clots. This is ok for most women in pregnancy, but it is a bad idea for some. Talk to your doctor to see what is right for you. Use a low heat setting and maximum 15 minutes.  


As we know, COVID-19 is a viral disease that is often mild, but can become serious. It is especially important to take extra care when pregnant. 

Pregnant mothers can safely supplement with most of the supplements recommended in the I-MASK+ protocol, but some modifications are important, as described above. 

When safety data is unclear, your doctor can help you with a more thorough risk benefit analysis and informed consent. 

Immune Boosters & Antivirals 

  1. Mother’s Immunity Support (2 capsules per day)
  2. Melatonin (2.5-10mg before bed)
  3. Vitamin D (2,000- 5,000 IU)
  4. Vitamin A (up to 10,000 IU daily)
  5. Quercetin (125mg daily)
  6. Turmeric (50mg per day OR 500mg twice per day, see above for explanation)
  7. Vitamin C (500-1000mg twice per day or to bowel tolerance)
  8. Zinc (40mg per day)
  9. Reduced Glutathione (25mg per day)
  10. Selenium (100mcg per day)
  11. Povidone Iodine Nasal Spray (three times per day for a maximum of five days)
  12. Antiseptic Mouthwash (three times per day)
  13. Oscillococcinum (daily)


Focus on hydration, electrolytes, easily absorbed nutrients, and maintaining normal blood sugar (rather than fasting).

  1. Water
  2. Electrolyte Drink
  3. Bone Broth

Symptom Management Strategies

  1. Lemon Balm Tea With Ginger Ease (2-3 cups per day)
  2. Tylenol (as needed for pain)
  3. Movement (at least every four hours)
  4. Breathe Right Nasal Strips (as needed to improve breathing).


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Vitamin D – Health Professional Fact Sheet

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Zinc – Health Professional Fact Sheet

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