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Cold Treatments for Pregnant Women

by Jane Wangersky | November 20th, 2013 | Pregnancy

hot drinkAlthough being pregnant can actually improve your health in some ways, it won’t keep you from getting a cold this winter. The good news is that the cold won’t affect your baby. Unfortunately, the medicines you’re used to taking for cold symptoms might.

Pregnant women are warned again and again not to take any medicines without talking to a doctor or pharmacist, and over-the-counter cold remedies are no exception. Neither are herbal remedies. But if you’re pregnant and fighting a cold, the last thing you may feel like doing is calling your doctor’s office or dragging yourself to the drugstore to ask about safe cold medicines. As puts it, “[Y]ou may decide to ‘live with’ your stuffy nose instead of using the ‘stuffy nose’ medicine you use when you are not pregnant”.

However, living with it or getting professional advice are not your only options.There are a few drug-free home treatments that can help you feel a lot better.

The National Institute of Health recommends just plain rest. Let your body fight the cold instead of using its energy on other things. Besides, your friends, family, and co-workers will be glad you’re keeping your cold away from them.

The NIH (along with lots of other sources) also recommends plenty of liquids, which, according to the Mayo Clinic, may loosen your congestion.

The Center for Disease Control suggests a humidifier, though they say to make sure it’s clean. Steam is also good at clearing your passages. You can also lean over a sink or bowl of steaming water (skip the aromatherapy oils), or just take a hot shower.

When you combine the ideas of liquids and steam, naturally you think of hot drinks. These can be great for relieving cold symptoms. Just remember that herbal tea — even something as simple as fresh ginger tea, if you’re going to be using lots of it — counts as medicine and should be approved by your doctor. However, chicken soup, which has been said to be medicinal at least since the 12th century, doesn’t need anyone’s stamp of approval.

This article from the British paper The Independent describes more drug-free cold treatments for anyone. Other sources say certain foods, like garlic, will fight a cold, but almost any fresh, healthy food will have nutrients that may help. Then there are the weird treatments like listening to jazz or wearing wet socks to bed (really) — but you’re likely to find rest, hot drinks, and a hot shower are enough.

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