Being sick on a regular day is not much fun… being sick while you’re pregnant, is so much worse. For one, you really can’t take all the medications you might be used to taking when you get sick. There are some you can take but even when you do, that worry for your baby is still somewhere in the back of your head.
According to AmericanPregnancy.org, the best way to get better when you are sick, is to get plenty of rest, drink lots of fluids and take your vitamins. Gee thanks! Especially that rest part when you already have a toddler running around, is near impossible.
They also list some natural ways to help with the symptoms:
- Turn on the Humidifier! – Check! We have a frog and a cow from Crane. (Thanks to Ev who got sick 4 times in a row right after she turned 1).
- Elevate your head on a pillow or use nasal strips – Like do I not usually use a pillow?
- Suck on ice chips or drink warm tea – Everything I was taught about being sick said to stay away from anything cold, so ice chips are out and tea is in. Although it just kept making sweat so I would just wait till my warm tea was colder. So… lots of help there.
- Gargle with warm salt water – to my surprise that was one of the things my parents told me to do, and as a rule I usually ignore their advice, cause well there’s a lot of it. But the salt actually helps to break down secretions and kill bacteria in the throat. Just 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water can help reduce swelling and keep the throat clean. And the whole time all I’m thinking is… so that’s why Sam and Dean (from Supernatural) pour salt down the demon possessed person’s throat, to kill the bacteria!
Now to actual medication… According to WhatToExpect.com, to relieve a headache or minor aches and pains, you are allowed to take Acetaminophen (AKA Tylenol), but definitely avoid other pain relievers like Aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin or Advil) or naproxen (Aleve), that can interfere with your baby’s development in the early months.
You can also take a few things for a cough (and mine has been really bad – kinda like a really old truck starting up every time I take a breath). Mucinex, Robitussin and Vicks44 are all on the approved list, as well as most throat lozenges (AKA cough drops).
Some no-no medications include decongestants like Sudafed and Dayquil (though some doctors may allow them in limited amounts and after your first trimester. ) So basically, anything you are thinking of taking – call your doctor first and get the approval. You may have certain medical restrictions based on your specific pregnancy and general health situation.
Personally when I’m not pregnant, I hardly ever get sick. But this pregnancy has not been very easy on me, not counting all the annoying pregnancy symptoms I have experienced this time around (as opposed to the Hakuna Matata pregnancy I had with Everleigh), this is the second time I have gotten sick in a just a few months.
I went on vacation to Orlando / Miami in May – came back with a bad cold that lasted about two and a half weeks. I went to Atlantic city two weeks ago – came back with a nastier cold that I’m still trying to shake.
So as a rule, whenever I have questions… I turn to Google. From what I have figure out, when you’re pregnant, your immune system is automatically lowered so as to not harm the baby, since technically it is a foreign object in your body. Hence the getting sick more often and staying sick longer.
Another great thing about me in particular being sick while pregnant, is that medications just don’t work on me. Just like the two epidurals and multiple other pain relievers I received while in labor last time didn’t work, so are the medications I have tried to take for this cold.
Even Tylenol which usually eases my troubles away, has been a waste of time. So I just have to put my big girl pants (the really big ones with the stretchy waste) and tough it out, for as long as it takes. Cause isn’t that what being a parent is all about anyway? Stay strong all my sick mamas out there! It’s not going to get any easier…