Pregnancy brings with it lots of little quirks and unexpected bodily ills, but to top it all off, getting a cold during pregnancy can seem pretty miserable. Your immune system is weakened while you’re pregnant, so you’re more prone that usual to catching bugs … and not being able to reach straight for the medicine cabinet can leave you feeling a little defeated.
Luckily, we’ve found plenty of natural and safe solutions for mums-to-be feel better and recover quicker.
Here’s our guide to surviving colds during pregnancy, brought to you by Care Pharmaceuticals.
1. Eat your greens
A good diet is your best defence against winter nasties, giving your body the minerals and antioxidants it needs to tackle a pregnant cold head-on. Make sure your diet is rich in green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean meats. A daily power-packed green smoothie is a great way to boost your vitamin intake. Or, if you’re worried you’re not getting the right mix of nutrients, try a pregnancy multivitamin (but ask your doctor first).
2. Sip honey ‘tea’
A soothing honey and lemon drink can clear your head and soothe your throat. The lemons will give you a little vitamin C kick and the honey is naturally anti-bacterial. Simply squeeze some fresh lemon juice into a cup, add a dash of honey and some hot water. You can even add a little fresh ginger for some extra warmth and to relieve any nausea. Swallow a teaspoon of honey at bedtime to coat your throat and stall your cough.
3. Breathe easy
Blocked noses and aching sinuses can keep you up all night, but there is a way to get relief that doesn’t involve taking a pill. FESS Sinu-Cleanse saline sprays and sinus washes are deep cleansing, non-medicated solutions designed to help relieve nasal and sinus congestion due to colds and sinusitis. The mild ‘Hypertonic’ solution is saltier than regular saline, which draws liquid out of the sinuses, breaks down mucus and dries up your runny nose – so you can finally breathe easy and get some shut-eye!
4. Stay hydrated
Drinking water is important throughout your pregnancy, but it’s especially vital when you have a cold. Drink at least eight glasses of water per day, and keep a bottle of water beside you at all times to remind you to drink. Sucking on ice chips can also help relieve an inflamed throat and keep you hydrated.
5. Get salty
A simple salt gargle can offer relief from a sore, scratchy throat. Dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water and gargle (don’t swallow), repeating several times throughout the day. This also has the added benefit of entertaining small children who will find Mummy’s strange gargling noises hilarious!
6. Go for garlic
Garlic contains allicin, which seems to have antibiotic, and antioxidant effects which can potentially ward off bacteria and viruses, and stimulate your immune system. Add a couple of extra cloves when preparing your evening meal or even better, cook up a warming, garlicky chicken soup – studies have shown that the old wives tale suggesting chicken soup can help your cold might actually have some truth to it!
7. Plump it up
Raising your head with an extra pillow or two at night can ease coughs caused by post-nasal drip, and drain the sinuses. A pregnancy body pillow can also get you into a comfy position for sleep, and assist with all those bodily aches and pains that come with a virus.
8. Full steam ahead
Dry air can irritate your cough, so keep the air moist with a cool-mist vaporiser at night. Ultrasonic vaporisers don’t have a heating element, so they humidify the air without causing condensation and won’t cause pregnant mamas to overheat.
9. Show some love … to yourself
Rest, rest, rest. Take time off work and let your body heal. If you have other children, call on friends and family to take care of them. No points for being an expectant mummy martyr! Tuck yourself up in bed, or use that pregnancy massage voucher you were probably given at some point. Now is the time to be extra kind to your body.
10. Don’t stress about bub
Having a cold feels awful, but you can rest assured your baby is not coming to any harm. He or she is still happily swimming away in your tummy, none the wiser! But, as always, if things don’t feel right or if you find your symptoms are getting worse, see your doctor.
FESS Sinu-Cleanse products offer non-medicated relief from blocked or runny noses and sinus congestion and are safe to use during pregnancy. Sinu-Cleanse uses a Hypertonic saline solution that dissolves mucus, clears your nose and unblocks sinuses. Visit fess.com.au