While it may seem like summer is here to stay with the unseasonably warm weather this Autumn, one thing is certain, winter will eventually arrive and with that comes the inevitable colds and flu viruses. A cold and flu while pregnant can make you feel really miserable, especially when you’re quite limited with what medication you can take.
The cold and flu season is just around the corner so be sure to wrap up warm, eat healthy nutrient-dense food, regularly wash your hands and incorporate some physical activity into each day, as these will all help to keep you well over winter.
If you’re suddenly struck down with a high fever, headache, body aches and pains it’s important to see your doctor to establish if you have the flu. The elevated temperature that can sometimes accompany the flu needs to be managed in pregnancy, so it’s important to seek medical advice.
But if you are unlucky enough to catch a cold, here are a few ideas on how to manage your cold and flu in pregnancy symptoms.
There really is only one way to recover from a cold and that’s by resting. Take a day off work and spend the day in bed if you can. If you have young children at home with you already, see if you can enlist the help of a friend or family member so you can spend the morning or afternoon in bed.
If that’s not possible, put all plans on hold, including housework plans and do as little as possible until the worst of it has passed.
Using a vaporiser at night is a great natural option when you’re congested. A vaporiser will add moisture and humidity to the air, which will help loosen congestion, making it easier to get rid of. Adding a little eucalyptus oil to the vaporiser is safe in pregnancy and is also quite soothing. While a vaporiser won’t reduce the duration of your cold, it will certainly help you manage your symptoms, particularly at night.
There is very little pain relief medication that can be safely taken whilst pregnant. Paracetamol is safe to take in pregnancy and will help ease aches and pains, and may temporarily reduce a fever. Be sure to avoid any cold and flu medications, ibroprufen, antihistamines and aspirin as these are not safe to take in pregnancy.
There is some truth in the old wives tale that chicken soup will help ease a cold. A handful of studies have shown that consuming home made chicken soup with vegetables can help reduce the severity of symptoms. If you’re still not convinced, it’s worth consuming just for comfort value – a warm cup of nutrient-dense soup will warm you up from the inside out. If you’re a vegetarian, opt for a broth-based vegetable soup, as it is the broth element that helps thin out mucus, making it easier to get rid of.
Pregnant or not, natural remedies are a great option. Some easy options include:
A cold won’t harm your baby but there is no cure for it, so be sure to take extra care of yourself with plenty of rest and you’ll soon be on the road to recovery.