How to treat a cold when you’re pregnant

Despite my best efforts, I managed to catch a cold during my pregnancy. And all my usual methods of treating colds – herbal medications, remedies, etc. – suddenly fell under grave suspicion.

medicineYou will not believe how many things have a little note to the effect of: “If you are pregnant or lactating, please consult a medical professional before taking this product.” Seriously? What is so abnormal about pregnancy or breastfeeding that all these products have to have these warnings? Even vitamin supplements like Vitamin C and zinc and green tea – which I assume women have been taking for years – have these warnings attached.

So here, in no particular order, are some ways I’ve been trying to eliminate this cold as soon as possible:

  • Use hydrogen peroxide to clear your nasal passageways. Usually this works wonders, and I think it failed this year because my hydrogen peroxide stash is old and has probably expired. You take an ear dropper and put about 10 drops of hydrogen peroxide into one ear (it will be cold – brace yourself!), lie down for 5-10 minutes or so, shake out the hydrogen peroxide over the sink, then repeat with the other ear. If you’re fighting off a cold, you will typically feel a fizzling and popping sensation in your ear while lying down. I assume this is the hydrogen peroxide attacking the germs, but it’s quite a pleasant sensation once you get used to it! Even after you catch a cold, putting hydrogen peroxide into your ear can actually unclog your nostrils and help you sleep better. Which leads to my next point …
  • Take catnaps throughout the day. Even while I’ve been working, I’ve still snatched around 10-15 minutes out of my work schedule to reserve a conference room, snuggle into a cozy chair and rest my eyes for a bit.
  • Swallow pieces of raw garlic whole, washing it down with water or coffee. This, I know, will probably put off a lot of you, and granted, you should probably take an extra stash of breath mints with you if you go out in public. But several friends and work colleagues (see, there’s more of us than you thought!) have highly recommended this tactic. I’ve only just worked up the courage to try swallowing raw garlic the last few days, but I usually do feel better a few minutes after I’ve taken it. It may be psychological, but I honestly think this has helped me manage my cold better than previous years.
  • Cut out all sugar as much as possible. This is just a good idea in general, as studies like this 2007 one suggest high blood sugar levels in mothers pose greater risks to their children. But several pediatricians also believe sugar can weaken your immune system and limit its ability to kill infectious bacteria.
  • Take lots of chicken broth, using as much of the original stock as possible. Apparently there’s some truth to that “chicken soup for the soul” thing, not to mention how soothing it can be on a sore throat. I’ve been blessed with a lot of chicken bones lately and have been boiling up some broth for breakfasts the past few days. That, with a little bit of avocado, garlic and celery thrown in for good measure – mmm!
  • Make soothing drinks for nighttime. Sometimes a sore throat can stand in the way of a good night’s sleep, and my mother has a wonderful solution – a glass of warm water with half a lemon squeezed into it and a (small) teaspoon of honey. Because I always associate this drink with childhood, it makes me warm and relaxed just thinking about it, let alone drinking it.
  • Think positive thoughts. Luckily my husband and work colleagues never cease to make me laugh, and I’m sure this has helped me think positively and imagine all my courageous white blood cells and antibodies attacking the nasty cold viruses … and winning! 🙂

Do you know any tips for treating a cold while pregnant? Feel free to share in the comments!

About multiculturalmarriage

I'm glad to be part of a multicultural marriage! I grew up in the U.S. but am married to an African husband. This makes life challenging, creative and cool - all at the same time!
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