Saturday, March 12, 2011

A Pregnant Woman's Solution for the Common Cold

Ok, how did I get lucky enough to get my THIRD cold of the winter?

Not that anyone is asking or interested, but here is the timeline of my upper respiratory infections this season:

Cold #1: Parting gift from my pediatrics rotation
Thanksgiving to January 21st-ish
(No hyperbole, you can ask T, who had to sleep next to me coughing all night for nearly 7 weeks)

Cold #2: Stress-induced from Neurology exam
February 4th - 15th
(Finally went away while we were in San Diego.  Ah, vacation)

Cold #3: Board exam traveler's badge of honor
March 9th-present

Now, to be clear, I am not asking for pity.  In truth, these illnesses have really just been glorified annoyances.  But common colds can be especially irritating in pregnancy, when my usual armamentarium of OTC medications is more or less off-limits for daily consumption.  Without the nasal-clearing, mucus-moving, cough-containing power of modern day poly-pharmacy,  I have found myself in a cycle (for most of this winter!) of sleepless nights followed by longer illness followed by less sleep followed by (enter stage left) chronic cough, etc, etc.  

So, for the love of sleep and health, what is a pregnant momma to do?  

Tonight, in frustration, I confess that I was rummaging around in our hall closet hoping to find ANY OTC medication leftover from pre-pregnancy days.  Instead, I came across an old bottle of Little Noses saline spray and a recipe for homemade saline solution given to me by our pediatrician.


Medicine free, my nose is clearer than it has been in months!  

Here is the recipe for saline spray (ie special salt water).  I sucked it into my old Little Noses spray bottle, which allowed me to shoot it right into my nose.  I know it may sound gross, but it really works, all with no worries about medication during pregnancy.  I may start attaching the recipe to bottles of "Little Noses" pediatric saline spray and giving it as a shower gift to pregnant friends.  

Homemade Saline Nose Drops Recipe
 8 oz water
1/2 tsp salt

Bring to a boil in a small sauce pan.  Remove from heat, allow mixture to cool.
Using a clean dropper or nasal spray bottle, tip back your head or lie down with you head hanging upside down off the side.  Spray or drop 2-6 drops of solution into each nostril.  Blow your nose occasionally to clear.   Repeat as needed. 

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