It's so fitting that I'm publishing this now, as I have been under the weather for over a week! Although I rarely get sick, so I can't complain. But this one knocked me off my feet while being 33 weeks pregnant. So how did I cope? How am I getting well? It's challenging when you're a mom of three, that's for sure! I get this question a lot on my social media platforms.
What is safe to take? What helps relieve cold symptoms? Aside from my hubby helping out twofold and making most meals while I've been taking the time to rest, there are quite a few natural remedies that I've been taking, to help alleviate an intense sore throat, stuffy nose, sinus pain, and cough. If you're coming here looking for drug recommendations, I would advise asking your medical practitioner whether it's your doctor, midwife, OB, naturopath, etc. I avoid all drugs (even over the counter) when pregnant, but in some cases I know mothers need something stronger.
Read below for all my tried and true natural remedies that can help overload your body with goodness while it's healing.
Pregnancy comes with its own set of challenges, and catching a cold can be particularly daunting for expecting mamas - I can attest to this! Your immune system is already on overdrive. Since over-the-counter medications are limited during this time, there are several natural remedies that can help alleviate symptoms. For additional products that I use to boost my immune system, check the list closer to the end of the article.
Staying Hydrated: Maintaining proper hydration is crucial during pregnancy. Drink plenty of water, herbal teas, and clear broths to stay hydrated and help relieve congestion.
Rest and Sleep: This is so hard to do when you have three kids running around like me, or a busy work schedule to keep up with. But the last thing you want to do, is prolong the cold! Try to rest as much as you can, and take warm baths. Staying warm helps your body heal faster.
Warm Saltwater Gargle: Ease a sore throat by gargling with warm saltwater. This simple remedy can help reduce irritation and provide relief. I just did this last week and it truly helped!
Steam Inhalation: Inhaling steam can help relieve nasal congestion, and allows you to breathe deep when you have a cough. Try using a humidifier or taking a hot shower to open up your airways. You can even shut the bathroom door and run the shower as hot as possible to breathe in the steam.
Manuka Honey and Lemon: Not a tea fan? A mixture of honey and lemon in hot water can soothe a sore throat and provide a natural source of antioxidants, we know that lemon truly helps give you an immune boost you need, along with honey that's organic and locally sourced.
Ginger Tea: If you do like tea, consider a blend of natural herbs and ginger. Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and can help alleviate nausea and congestion.
Bone Broth: This is HUGE! Not only does it boost gut health, but it also offers vitamins and nutrients your body needs when trying to repair itself.
Nasal Saline Drops: Saline drops are safe to use during pregnancy and can help relieve nasal congestion. A netti pot can also be considered to help clear clogged nasal passages. Consult with your healthcare provider before using any nasal spray.
Eucalyptus, Peppermint Essential Oils or Melaleuca Essential Oil: Utilizing a diffuser with both or one of these oils can provide relief from congestion. Ensure proper ventilation. You can even utilize them within a chest salve, to breathe in throughout the day and specifically at night.
Probiotic Rich Foods: Including probiotic-rich foods in your diet, such as yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi, etc. can support a healthy immune system. Taking a daily probiotic as well (that you have been gut health tested for) makes all the difference in your immune system.
ACV Baths: Use apple cider vinegar to gently detox and also protect and nourish your skin to create a healthy skin microbiome.
Fire Cider: This is an old wives tale but I swear it works! It kicks your immune system into gear and loads it up with healthy herbs, spices and foods. See my entire recipe here
Magnesium / Epsom Salt Baths: Pouring these natural ingredients into your bath can not only help with swollen feet, but helps to sooth sore muscles and body aches, which often come along with being sick and pregnant.
A Note About Prenatal Safe Herbs:
Some herbs, like elderberry and echinacea, are considered safe during pregnancy and may provide immune-boosting benefits. However, it's vital to consult with your healthcare provider, OB, midwife, naturopath, etc. before incorporating any herbal remedies. Everyone reacts differently to certain herbs. What works for one person may not work for another. Always prioritize open communication with your healthcare provider to ensure the safety and well-being of both you and your baby.
Supplements to Consider Stocking in your Medicine Cabinet:
Mama T's Natural Elderberry Syrup (use code nontoxic for free shipping)
Oscillococcinum: This is a natural alternative to fever reducers, and is marketed to help relieve flu symptoms. We keep this in our medicine cabinet for the whole family!
Decongestant Salve: The two brands that work well are Denise's Botanicals and Rowe Casa Organics. Both of these brands have safe ingredients made without petroleum, preservatives, or additives. Not only do they help to clear nasal passages, but the blend of essential oils used promotes relaxation.
Use code Jenna25 for Denise's Botanicals
Use my link for a 20% discount of your first purchase at Rowe Casa Organics
Do what works for you
There are SO many recommendations out there about what works for pregnancy remedies, and every mama is different. Always take the time to see what works for your body and go with it! Our goal is to raise healthy babies while keeping mama healthy :)
Note: Remember to consult your healthcare provider before trying any remedies, especially if you have concerns about potential interactions or allergies. Every pregnancy is unique, and individualized guidance is essential for your well-being and that of your baby.
Do you have something specific that works for you? Any tried and true remedies that you swear by? Drop them below in the comments to share with other readers!