'Tis the season. Getting a cold or cough or any kind of upper respiratory issue during pregnancy is not a fun feeling at all. Especially because there's honestly not much you can do about it when it comes to popping pills or sipping NyQuil. Many of the over-the-counter medicines such as Sudafed or NyQuil contain ingredients that could cross through to the placenta and potentially harm your little one. So...how do we feel better without the meds?
Here are 5 easy ways to ease the discomfort caused by the common cold during pregnancy:
1. Hydrate and rest. While this is not easy for most of us because we've got jobs, other little ones and life happening, it's one of the best remedies out there. If you find yourself experiencing the onset of cold or sore throat symptoms, start chugging water right away, preferably room temp or even hot/warm water. Park yourself in horizontal position (naps, night sleep, chill-out time) and try to sleep the hours your body typical needs for 2 nights. For example, if you need 8 hours but you normally get 6, make that ideal time happen so that your body recovers.
2. Get a Massage. A prenatal massage does wonders for your body. It not only stimulates blood/oxygen flow for you and the baby, loosens up tension caused by the expansion of your body, reduces stress and relaxes the mind, but it also helps detoxify the body. After a good massage, be sure to hydrate continuously so that you replenish what was lost during the massage. Ask for a combination of lavender and mint essential oils to help alleviate the symptoms.
3. Do a Vicks Vapor Rub + Steam. A little rub does wonders for your breathing, though it takes a while before the cold and cough disappear (vs. taking a decongestant). Still, it's a good way to ease the congestion. A good routine is to take a hot shower and steam up the bathroom, then rub some Vicks on your chest (post bath) and breathe in the steam.
4. Turn on a Humidifier. Once you get pregnant, please buy a humidifier. The air in most homes and apartments is quite dry compared to breathing fresh air, and a humidifier is a great way to increase the precipitation in your home. We love this one by Crane humidifier, which you will be able to use for your baby as well.
5. Eat Regularly. Even if it's a small snack such as a piece of fruit or crackers and cheese, it's important to feed your body consistently during pregnancy (ESPECIALLY during a cold!). Pick snacks that won't increase the mucus in your upper respiratory area, which primarily means avoiding dairy products (yogurt, milk, cheese). Nut butters, crackers or whole grains, and soups are all excellent options.