(Here’s me being dramatic at the doctor’s office.)
So back around Easter weekend, I ran around visiting family and when I got back to work the following Monday, I started getting this itchy feeling in my throat. You know the kind where you try to itch it with your tongue? This method obviously doesn’t work but I can’t resist trying anyways. So this little itchy throat turned into my first sleepless night followed by watery eyes, runny nose, what sounded like whooping cough and the voice of a life-long smoker. This wasn’t one of those colds that builds for 2 days, leading to one day of agony, and then trails off for a few more days. This was much worse. It’s like I was stuck in the “one day of agony” stage for 8 days. I had finally reached the second trimester where all the pregnancy related symptoms start to let up and then I get struck with this granddaddy of head colds. Well, you know what happens when you get sick while pregnant, right?
YOU CAN’T TAKE ANYTHING!
Well, at least that’s what everyone kept telling me. I just had to tough it out! I took a little time off work to deal with it at home but I think it’s generally frowned upon to stay home for over a week with a cold. (And who wants to waste precious maternity leave days?) So while I was at work driving my coworkers crazy with my incessant coughing and nose-blowing (and awful voice) I tried to figure out if there was anything I could actually take besides the “all natural” remedies. Here’s what I found.
The internet: Allergy medicines are safe: take Caritin
The OB: Sorry, hun, try Musinex for increased drainage
The Primary care doctor: Amoxicillin to fight off an infection (a safe antibiotic)
According to the doctor, it sounds like maybe I had some allergy symptoms in the beginning which probably weakened my immune system enough to catch some kind of virus that lead to an infection. Woo-hoo! That’s quite a lot for someone who doesn’t typically get sick at all.
So if you end up catching a cold while pregnant, here are some of the natural remedies that I thought helped a bit before I hit full-blown infection status.
Rest (duh, if you can get it)
Gargle salt water for a sore throat
Rinse salt water through each nostril (temporarily clears you out)
Drink a cup of hot water or tea with honey
Simmer a pot of water and then breath in the steam with a towel over your head
Consume many many cough drops (I think I ate two bags?)
Rub Vicks vapor rub on your chest at night
Hope my experience lends you a little guidance! But mostly, I hope you just don’t get sick while pregnant!