Anyway, having a cold is the pits when you're NOT pregnant. But when you ARE, it's even worse! Since most cold medicines are off-limits, you have to get creative about managing your symptoms and finding ways to knock that virus out. Here are my tips...since I'm pretty much an expert now:
- Drink plenty of water (duh). Plenty means like, 80-100 ounces a day. Yes, you will be parking yourself on the toilet a lot. But if you're pregnant, you're used to that anyway. You want to flush that sickness out of your body.
- Sleep (duh). Take a benadryl at night and say adios, world. Also, naps....naps are underrated!
- Hot water w/ honey and lemon. I think 8 oz. water + 2 slices of lemon + a spoonful of raw honey is the perfect ratio. It soothes the throat, and honey and lemon both have germ-killing properties that might help tackle the virus.
- Tissues w/ lotion in them. Yes, you need them, trust me. Spring for the lotion kind! Isn't that raw, red skin around your nose the worst? Aquaphor ointment is a must-have too. It's the BEST ointment in the world. Put it on that red, raw skin if you have it, and use it to moisturize your lips, since you're now a mouth-breather and your lips are surely chapped. Bonus: you can use it on baby too, once he/she gets here! It is safe and effective on sensitive skin and will help with dry skin and diaper rash.
- Halls sugar-free cough drops. I hate cough drops. They're just yucky. The ones that taste good don't do anything to sooth your throat and sinuses, and the ones that feel like they make a difference are just icky-tasting. Bummer. I like halls sugar-free strawberry flavor because of the menthol (and they taste the best of all the halls varieties, I think). Since nasal decongestants are probably first on the list of pregnancy medication no-no's, you will need all the help you can get in that area. I like that halls has the sugar-free option because I hate sweater teeth...you know what I'm talking about.
- Essential oils. I'm a doTERRA fan and already have a lot of these oils on hand. It's recommended that you put a small amount of Melaleuca on your tongue when you first notice cold symptoms, and then repeat this several times. Melaleuca tastes terrible, but I did it anyway. I also rubbed melaleuca and lemon oils on the bottoms of my feet. They're both oils with germ-killing abilities, too, so I'm hoping they're helping to kill the virus. I also like to rub eucalyptus/peppermint/Breathe oil on the bottoms of my feet, then sleep with socks on. It works wonders for nasal congestion. You can also diffuse the oils in your room while you sleep, and can rub them on your chest or under your nose to help clear your sinuses. Another great place to use essential oils is in the shower. Put a few drops of eucalyptus/peppermint/Breathe on the floor of the shower then get the steam going and enjoy being able to breathe through your nose :). A bath would be nice too - toss some Epsom salts in with your bathwater, add some essential oils, and soak for a while.
- Simply Saline spray. It's just saline and baking soda, and it will help to clear your nasal passages when nothing else will!
- Tylenol & Benadryl. Yay! 2 medicines you can actually take. Tylenol has helped take the edge off the headache/body aches and Benadryl has helped me to sleep, mostly, but also stops the sneezing.
- Mild exercise. If you feel up to it, do something to get your blood flowing. Go for a short walk, do some chores, etc. Even just getting up and taking a shower will help you feel better.
- Comfort food! I don't know if orange juice and chicken soup really do anything to cure a cold, but they sure make me FEEL better, and that's important. Last night when my symptoms started, I made a big batch of chicken noodle soup with lots of veggies, garlic, roasted chicken, and herbs. I served it up to myself with a couple pieces of toasted sourdough bread and felt better almost immediately. Also, can't go wrong chasing that soup with a glass of OJ! Tropicana makes a bottle with extra Vitamin C & Zinc! That's juice made for people with colds! Also, did you even need another reason to keep popsicles and ice cream around? If you're pregnant, you probably have them in your freezer already...haha.
I'm going to go follow my own advice now...best of luck! If you have more suggestions for managing a cold while pregnant, please share! :)