Being pregnant is tough enough on your body. But being sick while you’re pregnant really takes a toll. Whether you realize it or not, your pregnant body is already doing so much every single day to nurture your growing baby, which is why trying to fight off a cold can feel like a double- no, triple-whammy. Not to mention, not all over-the-counter medications are safe while pregnant so you can’t just take a bunch of meds and sleep it off. You especially can’t if you have other children to care for. While some medications are deemed safe for pregnancy, some health care providers will recommend sticking to mostly natural remedies, just to be safe. Make sure to read labels, talk to your provider about what you can take, and always stay within your comfort zone. But know that there are plenty of remedies, aside from medications that really only work to mask symptoms, that can actually help get you better faster.
Here are a few tried and true remedies that are totally pregnancy safe:
1) Taking epsom salt baths
One of the best remedies, that has plenty of health benefits, is taking a warm epsom salt bath. Aside from feeling great on tired, achy muscles, the magnesium in the salt water can help aid in your recovery, too. But the combination of the steamy bathroom, warm water, and soothing salts are all helpful to relieve nasal congestion during pregnancy.
2) Using a neti pot
If you don’t have a neti pot, pregnancy is the time to invest in one. During pregnancy, even if you aren’t sick, you may experience extra congestion called rhinitis, partly due to hormonal changes in your body. But when you’re sick, those nasal passages really go into overdrive and it can feel like the worst cold of your life. To relieve some pressure, boil water, wait till it cools and put it in your neti pot. Then pour it in one nostril and let it flow out the other. It might feel strange at first but you’ll get used to it, especially because it’s one of the best ways to loosen up that congestion and give your sore sinuses some relief.
3) Eating chicken noodle soup
It sounds like an old wives tale, but chicken noodle soup is still one of the best cold remedies around and it’s totally pregnancy-safe. The hot broth, vegetables with tons of nutrients, and fats from the meat are the perfect sick food. When you’re sick, your body needs extra calories to aid in recovery. When you’re sick and pregnant, you absolutely do. So do like grandma told you and eat as much soup as you like. Chances are, it’s what you’re craving anyway and may actually help you get better faster.
4) Using saline solution
Even if you don’t have a cold, but are just experiencing that pregnancy congestion, saline solution can be a lifesaver. Shooting the solution directly up your nostrils can help loosen mucus and alleviate sinus pressure. But when you’re sick and extra stuffed up, it’s an absolute must.
5) Gargling with hot salt water
Studies have found that when you’re sick, gargling with hot salt water can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the throat. It might taste a bit icky, but the benefits are real and totally pregnancy safe. Let about a teaspoon of salt dissolve in a cup of hot water then let the water cool enough to taste and gargle away. Repeat several times a day to flush the irritants that are making your throat sore and scratchy.
6) Getting rest, rest, and more rest!
If there is ever a time a time to cut yourself some slack, rest and recharge, it’s when you’re pregnant and battling a cold. Sleep is one of the best tried and true ways to allow yourself to heal naturally. So don’t push yourself to the limit. Take that extra nap. Go to bed early and sleep in, whenever life allows.
Please do not hesitate to reach out to us at the SCV Birth Center if you have any questions about your pregnancy, your birth plans or birth options. We are the only nationally accredited CABC birth center in the SCV, Antelope, and San Fernando Valley and we are happy to serve you.