WARNING! STAY BACK! I HAVE A COLD.
Ok, I warned you. I'm pretty sure it's just a basic cold, but somehow it managed to take me out for a full 36 hours this week. This is a brutal "mom-cold" and I don't wish it on anyone! Unfortunately, I had plans to hang out with a friend. She was supposed to come over, but I would feel just awful if she caught my cold because she's pregnant. Catching a cold while pregnant is the worst! Most of the common cold treatments are totally off-limits, and many doctors will discourage any medicine in the first trimester. My pregnant friend was glad I warned her to stay home so I could keep my cold germs to myself.
If pregnant women can't use most cold medicine, what can they use to treat a cold? Any of these 7 remedies.
Clear Your Nasal Passage With A Neti Pot
Let's dive in, shall we? Neti pots are perhaps an inelegant way to get the job done. If used successfully, the nasal wash will create a deluge of snot pouring from your nostrils. Here's why it works: the saline soothes irritated and dry nasal passageways. It also helps loosen mucus and clear your airways. All-natural and you can use it as often as you'd like! Protip: use distilled water or boiled-then-cooled water ONLY.
Robitussin DM Is A Pregnancy-Safe Cough Syrup
My typical cold doesn't involve a cough. When it does, I will try anything to stop coughing and get some decent rest! Most doctors agree that Robitussin DM is safe for pregnancy. Specifically, the two pregnancy-safe medicines are dextromethorphan (DM) and guaifenesin. Both help you reduce mucus and cough less often. Pro-tip: DM can be passed through breastmilk, so try to avoid it while nursing.
Soothe Sore Throats With Cough Drops
When you're sick, medicine does one of two things; it either treats your symptom or it treats your condition. Will cough drops shorten a cold? No. Let's be honest: cough drops are mostly a comfort measure. Try menthol formulas for nasal congestion! Any lozenge will help soothe sore throats. I personally like Ricola drops!
Steam Baths & Humidifier
Winter month can be especially harsh during a cold. The constant dryness in the air makes any kind of a sore throat or an earache so much worse! My doctor recommended setting up a humidifier for the rest of the winter season. The goal is to add moisture as you breathe. A super steamy shower or bath might accomplish the same result - and have the added bonus of being pampered!
Run a humidifier suited for your room, especially while you're sleeping. Try to elevate your head if possible; this will reduce the post-nasal drip that leads to irritated throats and noses.
Reduce Inflammation With An Over-The-Counter Pain Reliever
Hey, having a cold is no fun! Along with your runny nose and itchy eyes, you probably feel a bit of an overall body ache. That's pretty typical - and likely made more noticeable by your pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy can make your nose stuffy all by itself! Acetaminophen is an effective OTC pain reliever - use it instead of suffering through the pain! Some NSAIDs like acetaminophen can even reduce inflammation to relieve sinus pressure. Just be sure to ask your care provider if your preferred pain reliever is pregnancy-safe!
Resting And Sleeping Will Let Your Body Fight The Cold
No matter what other remedies you use or what works best, everyone can benefit from some extra rest during an illness. I've found that sleeping can be a sort of reset button - it allows us to judge the progress of our healing. It's also a respite from any discomfort we might be feeling. Instead of worrying about trying to "keep up" when you're sick, give your body a break. Let it spend its energy on fighting the cold first and foremost! You'll bounce back before you know it.
If you managed to catch a cold while pregnant this winter, I am so sorry! It might seem like this cold will never let up, but don't lose hope! Try these remedies to get as much relief as you can while the virus works its way through your system. Don't forget to take your prenatal vitamins to support your immunities!
What is your personal favorite cold remedy while pregnant? Find out what mine is one Twitter @pi3sugarpi3 with #PregnantWithACold.