The struggle is real when you get sick while pregnant. You constantly worry about the safety of your unborn child, because now, whatever you do affects your baby. Unlike before, you cannot just take medicine for cough and cold to treat a virus because your baby can be harmed by certain medicines. What are you going to do?
It can be worrisome, indeed. During pregnancy, your immune system changes and lowers slightly to prevent your body from rejecting the unborn baby. Thus, you are more vulnerable to infections including cough, cold, and the flu. This means you have to make double effort to protect yourself and your baby.
It can be quite uncomfortable and bothersome for you especially since over the counter medication is unavailable for you at the moment. But if you do get sick, don’t panic! The common cough and cold won’t affect your unborn baby, so there’s good news there. Cough and cold symptoms also tend to last longer during pregnancy, so finding a natural remedy to get better is understandably high on your list.
Don’t worry, we’ve got your back. Here are answers to some of your questions regarding treating your cough and cold while pregnant.
How do I prevent cough and cold while pregnant?
As they say, prevention is better than cure. Stay ahead by keeping your immune system as strong as possible.
You can boost your immune system by eating a healthy diet. Yes, that good old formula never fails. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables especially those with antioxidant vitamins such as vitamin C. When preparing your meal, think about the colors of the rainbow. Include a fruit or vegetable from each color to have as many natural vitamins and minerals as possible. Tomatoes, carrots, bananas, malunggay, eggplants – the more colors the better! You may also consult with your doctor for vitamin and mineral supplements especially formulated for pregnant women. You can never over prepare!
Rest is another thing you should get more often. Your body is stronger when you get proper rest. Stressing yourself about a lot of things will do you no good. Instead of worrying about them all at once, solve one problem at a time. Or better yet, keep calm and chillax – let the man of the house handle the problems for now (wink!).
How to treat cough and cold during pregnancy?
If you’ve done all that you could to stay healthy and you’ve still caught a cold, don’t beat yourself up about it. It happens, mama.
If you’re done with the sniffles or a scratchy throat, here’s how to cure a cough or cold while pregnant.
- A water and salt solution throat gargle and a saline nose spray are both safe ways to treat your cough and cold. So are vapor rubs and cough lozenges.
- If you have a cold with a stuffy nose which constantly bothers you, try steam inhalation. With a towel over your head, lean over a bowl of hot water with two or three drops of eucalyptus oil added and inhale deeply to help clear the congestion.
- Getting a cold while pregnant really isn’t that different as getting a cold before pregnancy! Getting proper rest and drinking lots of fluids are still essential in ensuring a quick recovery. Both safely work against cough and cold especially now that you are expecting your baby.
- Aside from water, you can also have a soothing drink of honey and lemon which is a safe and natural cough remedy while pregnant. Don’t forget you can also have broth or soup as a source of liquids! Think comfort foods like warm chicken sopas, tinola, bulalo – whatever soup you’re craving for at the moment.
- You should always take note of what you eat. Give your body the right amounts of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, protein, and fat it needs by having a well-balanced diet. Stay away from refined sugars and white flour, if you can, and go for whole wheat varieties instead.
- If your stuffy nose and throat are bothering you, you can set up a humidifier in your room to help reduce the congestion. After switching the machine on, make sure you keep your head elevated with a pillow. You can also add a few drops of lavender essence in your humidifier to make a DIY spa experience.
- You can also try gargling apple cider vinegar. It does not have the most pleasant of tastes but it does the trick. Apple cider vinegar alkalizes the body, creating an environment that’s not healthy for the bacteria. It contains good bacteria that helps fight off the infection. If you really can’t stand the taste of pure apple cider vinegar, you can mix 1-2 tablespoons of it into warm water or tea and drink it three times a day.
Is Lagundi safe for pregnant women?
Lagundi is a popular natural remedy in the Philippines and in many other countries like Japan and India. It has anti-inflammatory properties and has Chrysoplenol D which relaxes the muscles. Lagundi also acts as an expectorant, making it a good cough remedy.
Although Lagundi is generally safe, even for pregnant women, caution should still be taken when using this medication. Do not take Lagundi (in any form) for more than one week.
When should I consult my doctor?
If you want to take medicine for your cough and cold, it is best to consult your doctor first. Don’t risk your baby by buying cough and cold remedies over the counter without first asking your doctors about the safety of the medicines. Products which are not tested for pregnancy safety can hamper your baby’s health and development.
However, if the cough and cold are persistent despite getting proper medication, call your doctors immediately as you might have a secondary infection.
When it comes to pregnancy, you need to be extra careful of the things you do, eat and drink. Your womb has the power to give life to another beautiful baby so don’t neglect your body – and your baby, of course.