Sick and pregnant – what a drag. There’s hardly anything you can take, and if you’re lucky like me, you might have another little monkey at home in need of your attention. So what can you do? Baby yourself whenever possible. Here are some tricks I’m picking up as I slog through.
Cold & Flu Shower Burst
I got a package of these Shower Bursts from my friend Erin a few years ago for my birthday and have loved them ever since. You set them in your shower in a place that gets splashed but not directly hit by water, and they slowly melt and scent your shower – and whole bathroom. I don’t know if it actually HELPS with your cold/flu, but it does make your bathroom feel a little bit more like a sanctuary.
Used this in my shower this morning – a couple years ago when I was very first pregnant with Greg, I came down with a cold on vacation and my friend Amber recommended I put a few drops in a hot bath to clear me out. Found them in my medicine cabinet this morning and splashed them around my shower like a priest with holy water – on the walls, on the floor, into the shower stream. Then I ran the shower ä hot as I could take it and breathed in the steam. It was great, and felt very relaxing and clearing.
Puffs Tissues Plus Lotion
If you are as congested as I am, these are a necessity. I was blowing my nose RAW until I sent my husband out for these. My nose is still not in the best shape, but it’s a marked improvement over a couple days ago. Definitely helpful.
Face Lotion – Expensive and Not As Expensive
So, as mentioned above, my nose was completely raw, dehydrated, and painful from the constant running and blowing. Saline + friction = miserably sad nose. I figured out that if every time I blew, I put moisturizer on directly after – and not just a little, I mean really coated my nose in it – then the next blow was less painful AND my skin started to heal. Because of my recent skin issues, I had a lot of lotions around, so I started trying them to see what worked best. First of all, AVOID FRAGRANCE LIKE THE PLAGUE – it will make your poor nose feel like it’s on fire. The first one that worked well for me was Perricone MD Hypo-Allergenic Nourishing Moisturizer, but it’s très cher, so unless you’re looking to invest in a new moisturizer anyhow, maybe not your best choice. Or if you’re just a millionaire who spends money like water. Whatever. Anyhow, the other one that seemed to work well was The Body Shop Soothing Aloe Day Cream. At about a quarter of the price, it still does a great job and doesn’t sting. I also tried an unfragranced Murad moisturizer and it BURRRNED so obviously fragrance is not the only issue. But these two worked for me.
Vicks Personal Steam Inhaler
I actually have not gotten to try this one yet as I JUST ordered it from Amazon, but let that be a lesson to you: if you are pregnant now and NOT sick, maybe get some of this stuff in advance in case you GET sick. Because I wish this thing was here yesterday, and I think it won’t come till tomorrow. I will update on helpfulness, assuming I am still sick when it arrives. Gets good reviews.
(I feel like this goes without saying but I AM NOT A DOCTOR. Consult with your GP or OB before taking any medication while pregnant.)
Mucinex DM is on the “safe” list of OTC meds you can take while pregnant. It doesn’t make me drowsy, but does make a marked improvement in both my nasal congestion (after taking it I can breathe easily through one nostril) and my coughing. It absolutely does not fix me or put me anywhere near 100%, but I’d say it takes me from 30% to 50%, and given that I am on day 6 of this cold/flu/whatever it is, that is an improvement I will take. Combine it with some Extra Strength Tylenol and you almost don’t want to die. Also, it’s pretty cheap! I mean a lot of times cold meds run you like $25 and then you open the package to find 12 caps, and you’re meant to take two at a dose. This is under $25 for 42, and you take them every 12 hours. For the mathematically uninclined (comme moi) that’s a 3-week supply! Not too shabby.
Clinique Superbalm Lip Treatment
This balm is the bomb (see what I did there???). My lips have been dry and cracking from all the mouth breathing, and this stuff really healed them right up. No funky taste, smooth application, not sticky. Fantastic. If you’re more of a stick person, I also recommend Sprout Vegan Lip Balm in Peppermint – super soothing and soft.
Hot Water with Honey and Lemon (grocery store)
A half-teaspoon of honey and a splash of lemon in a mug of hot water (or chamomile tea) somehow feels so comforting. You can have as much as often as you want. Every time I do, I feel like I am taking care of my poor sore throat and aching sinuses just a little bit.
Force Your Significant Other to Baby You (sorry, you can’t buy this on Amazon, although I’m pretty sure you could find it on craigslist for the right price)
If you don’t have a significant other, hopefully you have a good friend. For the first couple of days of this bug, my husband didn’t seem to “get it.” I don’t know if he was just regularly forgetting that I was sick every few minutes or if he thinks I’m magic, but he seemed to expect me to be able to function at or above my normal level. I am not much of a whiner when I am sick, but after a couple days of this, I started whining. He just seemed to require a constant reminder that I AM REALLY SICK. On top of the whining, when he would ask me to do something, I would often cough at him or moan. By day 5, he finally seemed to understand, so I have finally been able to cease the whining, and am getting appropriate care. You are pregnant. You are sick. Demand the treatment you deserve.
That’s all I got. It’s not much, but hopefully it will make your time sick just a little more bearable. If you have other tips, I’d love to hear them!
Now stay warm, snuggle in, and have some soup!