Being sick is never any fun. But being sick during pregnancy? What a pain! Exhaustion, back aches, achy feet, and rickety hips are not fun without a viral or bacterial infection. What’s worse, there’s not a lot you can do about it. Doctors or midwives won’t issue you a magic pill to take care of your problem, because pregnancy gives women specific health needs, so this is no time to play with pills. No matter how sick or tired you may be, your doc is probably going to tell you that you just have to tough it out.
But there’s good news! You DO have options when you’re sick and pregnant. Options which are safe and you can run by your birth provider for their thumbs up. Let’s dive in!
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Trying to find a supplement that’s deemed safe for pregnant women is next to impossible. No woman wants to offer herself and her unborn as guinea pigs for lab testing, so the safety of products aren’t able to be studied or verified. This is unfortunate because it doesn’t give us much to work with. However, the plus side to this is that there are a lot of safe and healthy herbal options than pregnancy disclaimers lead us to believe. Nettle, Marshmallow Root, and Echinacea are all-natural antimicrobial cold fighters. Amazingly, they’re also considered safe for moderate use during pregnancy.
Of course, any food or lifestyle change during pregnancy? Run them by your birth provider to determine what’s best, what method, and how much. And if you’d like more information on herbs and their safety, get in touch with the certified herbalists at The Herbal Academy, Bulk Herb Store, or Mountain Rose Herbs.
Dash Food With Antimicrobial Spices
If you like to cook, then your cupboard is likely packed with infection-fighting spices. There’s a whole list of spices with a range of antimicrobial properties, but turmeric, onion, garlic, allspice, and oregano have a great reputation from a number of lab studies. These spices are considered safe during pregnancy as additions to food though — as Dr.Lisa Watson points out — they’re categorized as herbs which should be used with caution. Of course, upping intake during viral and bacterial infections or taking these spices as supplements stand to increase their pathogen power, but that’s something that needs to be run by your birth provider.
However, if you’re in a bind and you need a remedy ASAP, you have a safe option in the citrus section of the grocery store. Lime juice has some pretty outstanding antimicrobial properties. Actually, one study showed that lime juice outperformed garlic, onion, and ginger against e. Coli. Lime juice has been deemed completely safe during pregnancy, so if consuming it agrees well with your body, it can be a great help during cold and flu.
Sip Some Kefir
Yogurt gets all the attention when it comes to healthy cultured foods, but kefir is an antimicrobial powerhouse. Studies have put kefir up against pathogens like Staph, Salmonella, and e. Coli, showing that this cultured drink of times past has been kept around for good reason. Yogurt is great for our health for a variety of reasons, but kefir packs 30-50 strains of beneficial bacteria plus microbe-fighting properties. The best kefir for infection defense is unsweetened milk kefir made with either dairy milk or coconut milk. You can find it at any health food store. If you’re really into it, you can buy kefir grains online and make your very own!
Track Your Health
Sickness can be scary because you don’t know what’s going on. However, when you track your symptoms and you actually write down your symptoms and daily health information, you can get a good hard look at what’s really going on. Simple journals are an easy way to track this information and share it with your health provider, but technology has some great tools waiting in your smart phone’s app store. Health apps like My Pregnancy & Baby Today and Be You give users access to important health information while making it easy to track progress and changes. You also have access to the community of app users, and apps like Be You even give you access to health coaches.
Have you tried any of the options above? Maybe you’ve been sick and pregnant and found your own remedy? Perhaps you’ve run these options by your doc and they gave your interesting information? Whatever your experience, we want to hear about it. Share in the comments below!