You can be more susceptible to coughs and colds during pregnancy. Your fluctuating hormones (and the general strain that growing a little baby can put on your body’s systems and organs) can really wreak havoc on your immune system. Your mucus membranes also become swollen during pregnancy, so it takes longer for you to recover from a respiratory infection.
Unfortunately you can’t take many medicines when you’re pregnant. So what are some natural ways of dealing with coughs and colds?
First, a word of caution
It’s very important to talk to your doctor before taking any kind of remedy, even if it’s natural. Even herbs and organic ingredients can have an effect on your baby’s development. And since homeopathic medicines aren’t screened by the Food and Drug Association, only your doctor can assure you that they’re safe to take.
Take your prenatal vitamins
Prenatal vitamins that are prescribed by your doctor may not directly cure a cough or cold, but they can strengthen your immune system and overall well being so that your body can fight the infection.
Sleep as much as you can
Slow down. Delegate whatever work you can, or let go of unnecessary household chores. Rest and sleep to boost your body’s energy reserves so that it can heal itself. And a cough and cold can make you more susceptible to other viruses or infections, so you’re better off taking it easy now before it progresses to something more serious.
Can’t sleep? If you’re so congested that It’s hard to fall asleep, try propping yourself on two or more pillows. This will make it easier to breathe. You can also take saline nose drops to help relieve the stuffiness in the nose. Another great source of relief is to inhale steam. Try putting some vapor rub or eucalyptus oil into a big cup of very hot water and then leaning over so you can inhale the vapors. Place a small towel over your head to trap the vapor.
Drink a lot of fluids
Try fresh orange or pineapple juice, which is rich in Vitamin C. We all know how Vitamin C boosts the immune system. It is also a natural antihistamine, and If you’re feeling sniffly, it may help clear your sinuses and lower your mucus secretions.
You can also try squeezing lemon into a cup of hot water, and adding some honey. This will help relieve the itchy throat. Others like gargling with salt water.
Load up on garlic
Garlic can help fight off infection. Nibble on some garlic toast, or have a plate of olive oil and garlic pasta (the soft texture of pasta is also ideal if your throat feels painful whenever you swallow).
Photo from news.sky.com