Monday, April 16, 2012

Mommy-friendly Cold Relief Tips

I have spent 75% of the last four years sharing my body with babies. Whether due to pregnancy or breastfeeding, I've had to pay a lot of attention to what my dependents need from my body - sometimes even more than what I need from it. I don't mind this, really - but there is one thing in particular that I get SO frustrated with!

Not being able to take Sudafed (the real, good, behind the counter, have-to-use-ID-in-case-you're-trying-to-cook-up-some-meth kind) when I'm congested.

I swear, THE DAY my girls are dried up & my womb is empty, I'm going to stock up, and take it at the first sign of a sniffle! I have suffered for TOO LONG!

If you're in the same boat, here's what I suggest:

1. Take an ibuprofen. Okay, wait - only if you're nursing. If you're pregnant, Tylenol is your only option. If you're nursing, though - ibuprofen is safe. It's an anti-inflammatory, and while it's not gonna fix your problems, it'll soothe some of that ache and burning you feel in your sinuses. That's about as good as you can get, right now. If you have a headache and/or a sore throat, it'll help with those things, too. (BTW, I'm not a doctor, don't take my word for it... but I was allowed to take 4 ibu at a time after my c-sections while nursing a newborn, so taking ONE seems pretty harmless!)

2. Take a really hot shower. Steam it up, mama. Take your time, soak it up. Take a lot of deep breaths through your nose and get that hot, moist air up to your poor sinuses. It'll soothe them and help break up your congestion. 

3. As soon as you get out of the shower, blow your nose. A lot. Don't force it, because you don't want to strain everything you just soothed, but now is the time to dislodge all that gunk you just loosened up. Get rid of it! That's not to say it wont come back, but it's a wonderful break!

4. Get in some comfy clothes. Because, why not?

5. Sit back & have a drink. I know you'd really like a margarita right about now, but that's not the kind of drink I mean. My favorite sick-o drinks are: hot tea with local honey (I get it from the farmer's market, and if it's allergies that ail ya, the local stuff counts!), water with lemon, or orange juice with clear pop (like sprite, sierra mist, you get it). That last one is like a virgin mimosa (kinda) and feels fabulous on a sore throat thanks to the bubbles. Plus, vitamin C. The tea & honey makes a good sore throat drink, too. The point overall, though...get fluids. Your body needs them when you're sick, and especially when you're sick and nursing (or preggo).

So, that's my standard procedure when I JUSTCAN'TTAKEITANYMORE, but sometimes I need to employ a few other strategies. Like...
  • Find a reason to cry. Pinch yourself. Watch a chick flick with a bad ending. Start a stupid fight with your husband. (Okay, don't do that one.) Youtube Sarah McLachlan SPCA commercials. Your salty tears will cleanse and ease your sinuses. Or, you could just do it the "normal" way and use saline spray. Or a neti pot.

  • Hog ALL of the pillows. Grab the throw pillows from the couch. Employ your boppy in a new way. Make your hubs sleep flat on his back. (I am not a husband hater, I swear. I really love mine.) Prop yourself up in any weird contorted way you can to get things draining!

  • Boil some water, and if you want... add some essential oils to it (like peppermint). Pour it into a bowl while it's super steamy, sit at the table with it & lean your head over the bowl with a towel over your head (to trap the steam under it). Breathe deeply. Have tissues nearby.

  • Supposedly, there are a few "safe" medicines you can take while nursing, but they all may or may not reduce or stop milk production (think about it - decongestants dry you up, right - medicines don't discriminate parts of the body). I'm not willing to risk it. Sometimes there are moments when I feel like maybe I'm desperate enough to give it a shot, but I think I'll feel better about it after we make it to a year & Henry is relying on food more than nursing for his daily nutrition!
I've googled and googled for better solutions than this, especially at 1am when I am so uncomfortable there is no way sleep will happen and I'm SUPERBITTER that the baby is actually sleeping well (because you know, babies only sleep well when you don't!). Sadly, this is the best I can do.  I don't wish congestion on the meanest of nursing moms! Stay healthy, my friends!

1 comment:

  1. I hope you feel better VERY soon girl! Thank you for the comments on my blog today! You are SO right Jenn!! It is SO hard to get anything done but the bare bones things.

    I just looked at this cleaning idea!! Do you know you are fantastic???? You so are!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with me!!!!!!!!!