While being pregnant, in theory, is meant to find women at their healthy and glowing best, in reality, you might feel quite ordinary. Pregnancy brings all sorts of weird and wonderful ailments with it such as morning sickness, heartburn, restless legs, water retention and more.
But it also reduces your immunity, as the best of your vitamins and minerals are being used by your growing bump, leaving you with little defenses to fight common viruses and bugs.
If you are pregnant and get struck down with a cold, stomach bug, hayfever or anything else, you might be annoyed to find you can’t turn to your old favorite over-the-counter remedy.
Many regular products that are perfectly safe for normal use are not considered safe for pregnant women. Some are just not safe during the first 12 weeks, while there are others that you should steer clear of for the entire nine months.
If you are looking for a basic cure for something like nausea or flu, then you need to be safe rather than sorry. Look after your baby first and yourself as well. Always check with your doctor before you use any medications or common cures such as cold and flu tablets, pain relief, anti-nausea or antihistamines, even those that you don’t need a prescription for.
At the very least, make sure that you tell the pharmacist that you are pregnant and check that anything you get from the drugstore is safe for you and your baby.
Here are some common OTC products which you should not use while pregnant
- Pain relief such as aspirin or ibuprofen, although paracetamol should be ok
- Some herbs, minerals, and vitamins
- Some amino acids
- Cold and flu treatments
- Some antihistamines
- Some acne treatments including isotretinoin
- Treatments for yeast infections
- Some asthma treatments
Natural Products for Relief
Just because products are natural or organic doesn’t guarantee that they are safe for use during pregnancy, so don’t automatically assume that herbal remedies or supplements are ok. If you are using any herbal remedies before you get pregnant hold off on continuing the use until you have checked with your doctor that they are safe. Some you may just need to stay away from during the first trimester.
According to WebMD you should avoid these natural oral supplements while pregnant: Arbor vitae, beth root, black cohosh, blue cohosh, cascara, chaste tree berry, Chinese angelica (dong quai), cinchona, cotton root bark, feverfew, ginseng, golden seal, juniper, kava kava, licorice, meadow saffron, pennyroyal, poke root, rue, sage, St. John’s wort, senna, slippery root, tansy, white peony, wormwood, yarrow, yellow dock, and vitamin A (large doses can cause birth defects).
You should also avoid using the following essential oils while pregnant: Calamus, mugwort, pennyroyal, sage, wintergreen, basil, hyssop, myrrh, marjoram, and thyme.
Try instead these natural products that are safe for use during pregnancy
While some vitamins and minerals aren’t safe in pregnancy, a pregnancy or prenatal vitamin certainly is. These are not only safe, but they are also highly recommended because the levels of some of the nutrients your body needs at this time can be very difficult to get from food alone.
Saline Nasal Drops or Spray
If you have a cold, a blocked nose or hayfever, using a saline spray or saline nasal drops can be very helpful. Saline is just salt and water, so perfectly safe for use during pregnancy, as well as for babies and little children.
Warm Salt Gargle
Salt and water blend together again beautifully in a warm salt gargle that is very effective for sore throats and infection.
Honey and Lemon Drink
It is a very old school remedy, but there are few things that can’t be at least partially helped by a warm honey and lemon drink. The combination of nutrients helps with coughs, colds, and flu and can also assist with nausea, indigestion, constipation, insomnia, and even skin problems and weight gain.
Use raw, unfiltered honey and organically grown lemons for the best effects, both of which you can find at Eric’s.
Together honey and lemon have high anti-inflammatory properties , will boost your immune system and provide a wonderful dose of vitamin C.
While you shouldn’t have steaming hot baths when pregnant, a good long soak in a warm bath can be a great idea if you are feeling unwell. A warm bath is good if you have a cold or flu, aches or pains, and many other general ailments.
An oatmeal bath or Epsom salts bath are both soothing and relaxing while pregnant, as well as completely safe. Oatmeal has the extra benefit of moisturizing your skin, which can often be dry when you are pregnant.
Add a few drops of a rejuvenating essential oil such as lemon, mint or eucalyptus as well. These can help boost your immunity and fight basic ailments like colds and flu, and can also help with nausea and morning sickness.
Ginger is a gorgeous natural product with a thousand uses for health and wellness. In pregnancy, it is very good for nausea and morning sickness. You can drink ginger tea to settle your stomach or take ginger supplements to help you feel better.
When to Seek Help
Minor ailments such as colds and flu are very common while pregnant because your immune system is lower than normal. Most of the time you can seek relief with natural remedies and you will feel better once the illness passes.
Because of your special condition, however, if you get particularly sick, you should check in with your doctor. If you are dehydrated or not getting the nutrients you need, you and your baby could be at risk, so always play it safe.
Check-in with your doctor if you have been sick while pregnant and:
- Have been unable to keep anything down for more than 12 hours
- Have had a fever for more than 12 hours
- Have signs of dehydration including dizziness and dark urination
- Have abdominal or pelvic pain
- Have lost weight of more than 5 pounds since becoming sick.
For advice on natural remedies for sickness while pregnant, recommendations on prenatal vitamins, or anything you might need during this amazing time, drop in and chat to the experts at Eric’s.