Moms-to-be, have you noticed that you’ve been getting sick more often than you did before your pregnancy? That’s not all too surprising! Learn why that happens and how you can treat your cold or flu naturally.
Why pregnant women get sick more often
As you grow your tiny bundle of joy during your pregnancy, your body lowers its defenses. That seems like a strange thought, but it happens to ensure that the baby isn’t rejected. As a result, your immune system may seem less effective during pregnancy, leaving you more susceptible to illnesses.
Cold medicine while pregnant?
First thing’s first: if you’re pregnant and come down with a cold, make sure you contact your OB/GYN or regular doctor before you even consider taking over-the-counter cold or cough medicines. Unless your doctor gives you the OK, you should avoid antihistamines, decongestants, and cold medicines as they generally are not tested with pregnant women and could, therefore, have harmful side effects for your unborn baby.
Other medications to speak with your doctor about before taking about while pregnant include Advil (ibuprofen) and aspirin, though Tylenol (acetaminophen) for minor pain is usually fine to take. Antibiotics are also a potential cause for concern, so make sure to mention the possibility of a pregnancy to your doctor if your pregnancy is not yet confirmed.
Regardless of the medication you may end taking while sick with a cold or flu while pregnant, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the medicine and to finish the entire dosage; also, make sure not to take any leftover antibiotics from a previous illness, and do not take antibiotics that were prescribed to someone else.
Natural cold remedies
If you want to avoid any potential side effects associated with cold and flu medicines while pregnant (or your doctor has told you over-the-counter medications are not right for you during pregnancy, there are some things you can do to help yourself through your cold or flu:
- Get plenty of rest. In fact, get more rest than you normally do, if at all possible.
- Drink lots of water.
- Focus on eating a well-balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits and veggies.
- Drink hot water or tea (with pure coconut oil!) or gargle warm salt water to help soothe a sore throat.
Coconut oil for a cold
While you try to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet during your cold or flu, we at Skinny & Co. recommend putting some of your Skinny Coconut Oil™ you have in your pantry into regular rotation. (That is, unless your doctor tells you otherwise.)
Coconut oil is high in lauric acid (which contains antimicrobial and antibacterial properties) and is thought to dissolve the lipid around some viruses, making them more susceptible to being fought off by your immune system. If you’re sick, you’ll likely need more coconut oil than a healthy person, so you might aim for between five and six tablespoons per day.
Most importantly, keep track of your symptoms and their severity throughout the duration of your pregnancy. If your symptoms do not start to ease up or seem severe after a week or so, contact your doctor again to ensure you haven’t developed any sort of infections, and make sure you let her know how you have been treating your cold or flu at home.