It’s that time of year again. We are full speed ahead into cold, flu and allergy season. This season is the first time in 4 years that I can take an antihistamine when I need to. Being sick when pregnant or nursing can be really hard because we have limited options for what we can take and be safe for our children. It is important to remember that the milk glands are also a mucus gland, and they will dry up with any medication targeting your congestion. Another popular remedy is using essential oils and most of those oils are also contraindicated during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with young children in the home. Here is the routine that I share when asked what I do for a cold or allergies.
First thing I do is make sure that I have PROBIOTICS as a regular part of my diet. A common way that dis-ease can enter the body is through the gut. A good line of defense is to take probiotics in the form of fermented food, eating yogurt or taking it as supplement. Most people have heard of anti-biotics, which is prescribed to fight bacterial infections in the body. It is against bacteria. Well, pro-biotics are in favor of the good bacteria that live in your gut. If you have been sick and needed to take an antibiotic, including an antibiotic IV during labor, you should consider taking probiotics to help replenish the good bacteria that were killed in the process of fighting the disease.
The second thing that I do when I don’t feel well is use my NETI POT twice a day. This gentle form of flushing the sinuses out has reduced the length of my discomfort and made it easier to breath when it wasn’t safe for me to take an anti-congestant. Check out my how to video here –
My mom taught me the next step. I am not sure where she learned it from but since vitamin c is water-soluble it can’t really hurt. As she explained it to me, you take 1000 mil of VITAMIN C starting at the first sign of being sick. Then take it again every hour until you have a bowel movement. She told me that as long as you are not going to the bathroom your body is using the vitamin c to fight the disease. When the vitamin c upsets your GI tract enough to create a movement your body doesn’t need anymore for that day. You repeat this step daily, every day, until you are better. I am the only person in my immediate family who does this and I have a way shorter duration of being sick than anyone else.
My friend Amber Allen taught me step four. She uses STINGING NETTLE capsules to help fight allergies. I happened to have organic stinging nettle herbs on hand and make a tea or infusion, based on how much time I have. The difference between a tea and infusion, in its simplest explanation, is how long you steep it for. You would steep your tea for 2-4 minutes and you would steep your infusion for 4 or more hours. The longer you steep the herbs the more medicinal properties are released and the stronger the potency of the drink. I have no herbalist training to explain why it works, I just know her advice was a godsend while nursing and it worked for me.
Proceed to this last step with caution, if you are nursing. I LOVE this remedy and it is an all over great thing to do daily, unless you are nursing, to reduce the overall congestion in your body. Drink tons of water with LEMON JUICE added to it. I caution if you are nursing because I have not found someone who can answer whether the anti-congestant benefit of the lemon juice will affect your milk supply or not. I have asked herbalists, LLL leaders, lactation consultants and midwives but no one seems to know that answer. Best thing to do is proceed slowly and pay attention to your own body. My body was so fragile with milk supply that it didn’t take much to upset it and I decided to only use this option when pregnant or really, really desperate.
I have heard of other remedies that can be useful but stuck to the tried and true remedies for me. What remedies have worked for you?