Getting a cold sucks during pregnancy, in fact, getting sick at all during pregnancy is the worst! I got really run down in my third trimester and I don’t know about you, but I steer clear of any medicine during my pregnancy, even if they say it’s “pregnancy-approved”. There’s just something so unnatural and unpleasant about taking medicine whilst I have my baby boy in my belly. I’m probably being super paranoid and silly. In fact, I know I am super paranoid and silly during my pregnancy. My midwife has told me countless times that I can eat my favourite ham if I freeze it first before eating it but I still won’t go near it! If you’re anything like me then this post is for you.. Let’s get into how I treat my cold naturally during my pregnancy.
Now, since you are pregnant, you should be doing all you can to avoid getting sick in the first place. This includes your common cold and especially the flu. I started to get a sore throat and that horrible heavy feeling in the back of your eyes. It started from there and began to develop into a cough.
Especially in the warmer months when we are transitioning to autumn, it’s particularly easy to catch a cold. Try to always cover your chest if you are planning to stay out all day and return at night when it does get cooler. Since you are pregnant it is easy to feel hot and sweaty all of the time and not even notice that your chest is exposed to the cold. Another great way is to stay active. Kinda difficult when you’re carrying what feels like two sacks of potatoes on your waist, right? I’m not saying go running every morning or even hit the gym – all I’m saying is make sure at least once a day you are going on a walk for at least thirty minutes throughout the day. Not only is this great for you and your little ones physical health, it’s the perfect remedy for your mental health. I felt constantly anxious and easily irritated throughout my first and second trimester thanks to Mr. Hormones (we do love mother nature!) and especially since I was in confinement from the COVID for most of my first trimester! Taking an early morning walk or a late night stroll is equally perfect to tire you just before you sleep. Sleeping plays a huge role in staying healthy and cold-free during pregnancy. Fruit and vegetables are your new best friend when it comes to staying healthy. As hard as it seems during those early months and those last few months, I’m finding it so difficult at month 8 to keep my hands away from anything sweet and sugary!!! Trust me, it will all be worth it because feeling run down and exhausted is the last thing you need on top of your hormones and growing uterus.
The key is to spot the first signs early on. Now that the weather is starting to get a little cooler and particularly at night there is a chill, I have a forest fruit tea to soothe my throat which has all the extra benefits of antioxidants in the tea itself. Go ahead and put that warmer duvet cover on your bed with that lovely fur throw at the end of your feet. Incorporating honey and lemon into your diet is a great way to tackle any lingering cold. For example, add some honey to your cup of tea or a slice of lemon to your water. Squeezing lemon over your fish or chicken is also a great way to add those extra vitamins. I love adding lemon zest to my rice and a pinch of cinnamon in the winter months, yum! I LOVE having pancakes on the weekend for breakfast, it’s a tradition that me and my husband have always had and I just can’t help myself! I started to add pure honey over the top instead of syrup that is packed with unnatural sugars and I finish by cutting up some banana and strawberries instead of chocolate. Again, these are things to PREVENT a cold or a flu.. Unfortunately if you have allowed your flu to linger for some time and you have developed a chesty cough, you need to take stronger measures!
Continuing all of the above healthy measures throughout your cold or flu is vital to recovering successfully. Be sure to get PLENTY of rest as your body is already under an enormous amount of pressure to grow a tiny beautiful human being!
If you don’t have the machine, you can easily boil a bowl of water and put a towel over your head, enough to cover your shoulders. This was the best thing that helped me quickly recover after I developed a dry cough. This helps clear your airways, particularly your nose and offers so much relief. I did this every day until my cough was no longer present. You can even add some essential oils to the hot water, I tried lavender and rosehip which was really calming too. Remember you are pregnant, allow the water to cool a little before you do this since you don’t want your temperature to drastically increase for your little ones health.
I’d say this was the second best thing I did in terms of effectiveness. The teas with the honey and lemon were great but they didn’t quite shake off the cold completely. Since the cough syrup is natural, you can take this multiple times a day (do check with your pharmacist beforehand). I think it was the thickness of the syrup that really helped with fighting my cough.
Throughout my entire pregnancy (especially mid-second trimester) when I had those terrible muscle pains in my legs, I started using bath salts. My favourite bath salts during pregnancy contain lavender since they make me feel so much calmer and relaxed. In fact, I even have a beautiful bouquet of lavender on my bedside table! There’s just something that was so comforting about taking a warm bath with such a wonderful aroma. Again, watch the temperature!
Drink plenty of FRESH juice. If you can’t buy fresh, check the label to see how much fruit is actually in your juice. This is something that I found during my pregnancy since I was told my sugars were quite high and I just couldn’t understand it since I was following quite a strict diet. The only thing that I had changed was my consumption of juice which had increased quite a lot. When I checked and I saw that the orange juice I had been drinking several times a day thinking I was being super healthy only contained 40% fruit, I was so disappointed and in shock. And no, a lot of the sugars were not natural in the juice.
Such an important one! I started to increase the amount of vitamin E I was getting and not only did it help my immune system but damn I got my healthy glow back and no longer looked half-dead in the face! I incorporated nuts as a snack between meals, eating fresh mangos at least once a week, putting avocado in my salads or with my eggs for breakfast and ensuring I was getting my right amount of fish per week.
Now that winter is approaching, it is so important to stay healthy during your pregnancy. We all eat one too many cookies or one or two or three hot chocolates at the excitement of the cooler weather coming (been there, done that), but maintaining a diet with these nutrients will help you avoid catching a cold or flu.