I am just coming out of the other side of four weeks of illness which annoyingly stretched over Christmas, New Year and January. I came down with the flu, followed by a chest infection that lingered for weeks. Being 22 weeks pregnant it was hard to know what remedies I could use and I found that there were not many to choose from at all.
So I thought it would be really helpful to put together a list of things that really help that are safe in pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding. I asked some of my very wise blogger friends for their top tips also, because well, just taking paracetamol when you feel like your body has been taken over by Satan himself just doesn’t cut it.
Vicks, Vicks and more Vicks
This definitely helps with clearing the cotton wool head that flu can give you. Use it like you have been given a bottle of Number 5. Slather it on your chest, get a willing helper to grease your back with it and steam with it several times a day. You can also put it on the soles of your feet and wear cotton socks before you go to bed. It soaks in through the soles and seems to help. Make Vicks your new best friend!
Regular hot baths with bath salts
Flu can make you feel absolutely dreadful and the aches are horrendous. If you can’t get out of bed, then try to get into a bath. The weightlessness and the heat will soothe those aches away for a while and give you some relief. Meanwhile the steam will really help to clear your head. Epsom bath salts ease the aches too and are reported to be safe to use in pregnancy. If you happen to have any left over once you are recovered keep them aside. They are really useful to bathe in should your feet, legs or ankles swell.
Hot toddy (minus the whisky)
Just because you are pregnant it doesn’t mean you can’t go old school and make yourself a hot toddy. It helps to sooth a sore throat whilst giving you a little hug from the inside. I used the following ingredients
3/4 cup of tea
1 tsp Manuka honey (it has antibacterial properties and certainly helps to sooth the throat)
Small slice of ginger (helps with fatigue, congestion and gives you a little boost of energy)
A couple of springs of mint (for flavour)
Lianne over at Ankle Biters Adventures http://anklebitersadventures.co.uk suggests adding a cinnamon stick to your hot toddy can also really help.
Drink…drink lots, and then drink some more
I learned the hard way by ending up on a drip on Christmas Eve. Stupidly I thought I was keeping my fluids up, but it somehow didn’t register with me that I was also drinking fluids for the baby. I began to feel extremely weak and after a trip to see the doctor he pointed out that I was as good as dry. I had not been taking on nearly enough fluid. He reminded me that babies are very single minded and will take all they need from you, leaving you feeling absolutely dreadful if you are not careful. So drink as much and as often as you can. Remember you may not feel like eating for two, but you must, MUST, drink for two!
A bedside comp-onion
Claire over at Our Mummy Life https://www.ourmummylife.com suggested keeping an onion by the bed.
‘Cut a raw onion & keep it next to the bed while you sleep, it absorbs viruses & bacteria – I do this for my kids too’.
I am definitely going to try this next time someone falls ill, although maybe not if they have a sick bug, they will never forgive me!
Mel at Le Coin De Mel https://lecoindemel.com suggests the following.
‘For the past few years, I’ve kept a jar in the fridge every winter with sliced lemons / grated ginger / good quality honey and a tablespoon turmeric. Works a treat when it’s infused for a couple of weeks at least’
Mel suggests having a spoonful straight from the jar or adding it to hot water will give you a variation of a hot toddy, just to mix things up a bit. I imagine the infusion over time really will kick some serious flu ass!
This is obvious I know, and it is all feel like doing when you are struck down with the flu. The point here though is that as women, even when we are poorly sick, we can start to make a mental list of things that need doing. If you are anything like me, the moment you start to feel a little better, we can leap into action and actually set ourselves back a coupled of days. My advice, from experience, is not to get giddy when you begin to welcome back normality.
When you feel like the real you is returning, grant yourself at least another day of rest. Reward yourself with reading a book or magazine or watching something you can now actually concentrate on, (Peaky Blinders is my recommendation, Mr Shelby will always perk me up). Try going for a very gentle stroll around the garden, hell, get dressed even! But do not rush into jobs, shopping, making meals or housework. It is likely to be a first class ticket back to bed with little or no energy.
Thank you for reading. I hope that this collection of tips helps you to get through the flu season little easier so that you can get back to nurturing that amazing little life inside you.