How to deal with Ills & Chills when you are Pregnant or Breastfeeding
This time of year when everyone seems to be coming down with sore throats, runny noses and coughs, trying to stay healthy is difficult. However when you are pregnant or breastfeeding many of the herbs or over the counter treatments and preventatives are prohibited. Consequently I get many calls from mums or mum’s to be asking “what can I take for winter ills”?
Prevention is obviously the ideal situation, so one thing I would recommend is taking a good pregnancy multi. Most contain the vitamins and minerals that support the immune system, such as vitamins A, C, D and minerals such as zinc and selenium. Of course having a diet rich in colourful fresh fruit and vegetables is equally important.
Keeping an eye on your iron levels is important not only for your energy, but also as immune defence. Iron deficiency is common in pregnant and breastfeeding women. Finally a healthy digestive system is important for absorption of these nutrients, but also to protect us from the outside world. So taking a good probiotic will help in this area.
If you are unfortunate enough to come down with something there are a number of things you can try:
- Support the immune system – When supporting the immune system in general to fight infection vitamins A, C, zinc and selenium can be beneficial. Remember you must not take more than 10,000 IU of vitamin A per day whilst you are pregnant.
- Iron will not be beneficial at this time as viruses and bacteria need it to grow and multiply. So if you are feeling sick avoid the iron supplements for a couple of days. Often when we are sick serum iron levels show as low. This is because the body hides away iron as a defence against the invaders; very clever.
- If you are suffering from a sore throat gargle with salt water as this helps kill bacteria. To sooth a sore throat and calm an irritating cough you can take manuka honey. If you use the ones that have a high UMF® factor you get even better antibacterial effects.
- For irritating dry coughs there is also a homeopathic remedy called Drosera, which can be used.
- If you have a blocked nose steam inhalations can be helpful. You can even add a few drops of eucalyptus for extra clearing. You can also use saline sinus rinses or sprays with plant sugars, such as Xylitol, to flush bacteria away.
- Avoid dairy food as they will exacerbate symptoms due to their mucous increasing actions.
- Garlic and onions are natural naturally antibiotic and immune enhancing, so use them to make warm broths or vegetable /chicken soups. Can you believe scientists have proven chicken soup to be beneficial for illness? Generally make sure you get plenty of fluids at this time.
In order to find out what Clinicians products are suitable for use for ills and chills and in general during pregnancy and while breastfeeding you can go to Products Suitable for Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Page