When I’m sick, the last thing I feel is beauty full or beautiful. This post is in honor of the cold I’ve been nursing for the last week, and for the multitude of patients with the same complaints:
To begin with, try to avoid catching a cold. Easier said than done!
Practice good hand hygiene. Wash your hands often and thoroughly.
Avoid contact with sick people.
A cold virus is spread through mucous membrane contact (eyes, nose, mouth). To minimize exposure: Don’t rub your eyes, don’t pick your nose, don’t lick your fingers.
Consider wearing a mask to cover your nose and mouth in public. I know, overkill. I can’t say I do it myself. It’s still a suggestion.
Well, that didn’t work. Now you’re sick. You feel more congested/ sore / exhausted than you already did sans illness. What do you do now?
It depends on the type of sickness or virus / illness.
A common cold should go away with time and comfort measures. Rest, hydration, and some medications should get you through. A cold will not cause problems to your developing fetus.
Medicines that are considered safe to take in pregnancy for a short period of time are below. Your personal OB needs to give you the final ok for any medications you take, so check with her first.
Aches / pains
Tylenol (generic: acetaminophen)
Overall calmer- downer (antihistamines)
Benadryl (generic: diphenhydramine)
Robitussin (generic: guaifenesin)
*do not take if you have high blood pressure
*do not take Sudafed PE (generic: phenylephrine). Check the label carefully!
“Cold / flu medicines”
Nyquil (contains acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine) is fine
Do not take:
Dayquil or Alka Seltzer Cold medicines. At least according to their websites, these meds contains phenylephrine, which you should avoid. If you check the label and it contains pseudoephedrine instead of phenylephrine, then it’s ok.
When to see your doctor:
– if you have a fever (temperature above 101)
– your symptoms do not get better in a week or so.
– you think you have something different than a common cold
At home, if your temperature is above 101, you should take Tylenol to lower it, especially if you are in the first trimester.
Some viruses or illnesses can be dangerous to a pregnant woman. They may cause birth defects, preterm labor, or even stillborn. These include: influenza, Parvovirus (Fifth disease), Chicken Pox, Rubella, and Listeria. There are more rare viruses that could cause problems as well, like West Nile Virus. If you are exposed to any of these viruses, see your doctor right away for help. Being as specific as you can is helpful. Try to remember when and how the exposure occurred, and what symptoms you have experienced since exposure.
From my chef of a husband to you (this wonderful concoction helped get me through this horrendous cold):
Moxie’s Cold Cure-all (a recipe from a now defunct former Portland hot spot, Moxie Rx, for those suffering with ailments, via Bon Appetit magazine)
* you can use minced ginger from Whole Foods instead of grating it yourself
Hope you feel better!
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