Being sick is no fun, but especially when you’re pregnant. During pregnancy, your immune system is suppressed and runs at a “lower speed” than normal.
While a suppressed immune system doesn’t seem like a good thing, it actually helps the baby to survive in your uterus. The fetus is like a foreign object that your body could have a semi-allergic reaction to if your immune system was running at full speed. Your body lowers its defenses during pregnancy so that it doesn’t assault the baby as a foreign object inside you. Pretty amazing, right?
The downside is that a suppressed immune system makes you more vulnerable to the all-too-common cold and flu. While your baby is doing just fine, colds are definitely annoying to you with a runny nose, sore throat and wrenching cough, and the flu hits hard with aches and chills.
Since over-the-counter drugs for colds and flus are not generally recommended for pregnant women unless they have been specifically cleared by your pregnancy care doctor, here are some natural things that you can do to relieve symptoms when you get sick during pregnancy:
- Eat and Drink. It’s important you stay healthy and hydrated during pregnancy, but even more so when you are feeling unwell. Fruits and vegetables will supply your body with the right nutrients to heal and recover. (Continue learning what and what not to eat when pregnant…)
Also drink water for sure, but orange juice and clear, decaffeinated liquids like teas or soup broths also have great nutritional benefits.
- Prenatal Vitamins. A natural way to get the vitamins you need is through the food you eat. You can find vitamin C in most fruits, broccoli, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach, and other enjoyable foods. You doctor may also recommend that you take prenatal vitamins daily via a capsule.
- Rest. Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Your body is working hard to grow another human being and fight off any viruses and bacteria trying to harm you. That’s a lot of work, so make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep.
- Saline Gargles and Sprays. Gargling with a warm saltwater solution can help to relieve pain and soreness in your throat. Try 1 teaspoon of salt in 8 ounces of water. A saline nasal spray can help to moisten and relieve some of the nasal pressure from a cold as well, but avoid medicated sprays, unless directed otherwise by your doctor. Nasal strips can help to open your passages and get a peaceful night’s rest.
- Humidifier. Dry air can be painful and uncomfortable to enflamed sinus cavities when you have a cold, so invest in a humidifier to keep the air warm and moist around you.
If your symptoms persist for more than a few days, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.
Are you in search of compassionate care professionals in the Gainesville or Lake City area? All About Women is here to help in any way we can. Make an appointment at one of our offices or visit our online blog and knowledge center for more information about your pregnancy.