How to Handle Being Sick During the 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

The third Trimester is a truly awful place to be. I’m serious. You could not have prepared me enough for the uncomfortable happenings that take place during the last three months of pregnancy. I don’t want to scare you. But I truly wish I had read a little bit more about the way my body would feel before it started feeling this way. This week has been a big step backwards over here in my little world. The horrible thing about pregnancy is how actually compromising it is on your immune system. Put it this way, and your immune system will only truly support one person and ten times out of 10; it’s going to be the tiny human taking capacity in your uterus. You’re welcome! If you’re wondering, I’m talking about being sick in the 3rd Trimester.

It’s important for me to explain that when I say sick, I am not referring to the COVID-19 outbreak. I’m talking about plain old sickness. A common cold, the flu; you know what I mean! A few weeks ago, amidst the ever-growing pandemic, I fell sick with Influenza A. Talk about the worst possible time to be coughing….

It wasn’t too bad. I caught it in time before I developed a fever, and the Doctor put me on an antiviral to help. I took some Tylenol to head with my head, stocked up on tissues, and drank a ton of water. Before I knew it, I was back to normal!!

What to Do When You’re Sick While Pregnant

Here’s the thing about pregnancy: your options are limited. There aren’t many medications you can take that are safe for your baby. So how do you cure yourself of any ailment? The best way to avoid getting sick while you are pregnant is to take steps to make sure you are healthy. The more you invest in your health, the more likely you will be able to avoid getting sick or speed up your recovery if you do get sick. Aside from washing your hands and maintaining your cleanliness, you should also:

Eat better.

A healthy body starts with eating healthy. And this is especially true with pregnancy. I’m no stranger to the “baby wants ice cream” excuse – but don’t let that excuse get you every time! Of course, I believe it’s important to indulge every once in a while, but make sure you’re also eating nutrient-rich foods. The vitamins and nutrients that you get from a nutritious meal go directly to building up and supporting your immune system.

To combat sickness, try eating these fruits and veggies:

  • Mushrooms. Recent research has revealed certain mushrooms contain lentinan, which has been shown to boost the immune system.
  • Citrus. We’ve all heard it before: To avoid colds, get plenty of vitamin C! Oranges, lemons, limes – they’re all great sources. You can also try orange juice…
  • Kale, broccoli, cranberries, red onions, blueberries: what do all these foods have in common? All have an antioxidant called quercetin that may help you fight the common cold. We call them germ-fighting foods!
  • Ginger. Okay, it’s more of a root than a fruit or vegetable… but ginger helps TONS with sickness. Try making some ginger tea with lemon and honey. It’ll help with congestion and help smooth your throat!

Take your vitamins.

Besides eating right, taking prenatal vitamins and probiotics can further enhance the supportive of your immune system strength. I still struggle a bit with this one because I tend to be forgetful – but I’m working on it! Probiotics and prenatal are essential for pregnancy.

For a probiotic, I recommend Up4 Probiotics for Women. Not only does it help with immune support, but it also aids in urinary tract, vaginal, and digestive support as well! I’ve been using these for the past year or so, and I love them. The extra bonus was getting them approved by my OB/GYN!

As far as prenatal vitamins go, everyone has their own preference. I personally love Rainbow Light vibrance Trimester 3 Prenatal Multivitamin. Rainbow Light breaks down their Prenatal vitamins by Trimester to give baby maximum benefits! (See Trimester 1 and Trimester 2) And each pill also has tons of fruits and veggies, a Tummy Soothe Blend, and a Prebiotic and Probiotic Digestive Blend.

Stay Hydrated

This seems like a “well duh” kind of tip, but being sick in the 3rd-trimester warrants tons of water intake. Not only are fluids essential to your body, but they help wash out your system! If you’re bad about remembering to drink plenty of water, choose a couple of close friends or family to help remind you throughout the day. (That’s what I do!) Or set a reminder on your phone to at least take a couple of sips every 15-30 minutes.

During pregnancy, you should really increase your water intake! Here’s a fun fact: that little bundle of joy growing inside you is 75% water. As your baby grows, that number can drop to 65% within the first year of life until it levels off between 57-60% in adulthood. So not only is drinking water essential for you and your immune system, but it’s essential for the baby, too!

Get Some Rest.

Rest. I look at this and laugh. The truth is, I can’t remember the last time I got a really good night’s sleep, and melatonin vitamins are a BIG no-no when you’re pregnant.

I often lack energy and feel very drowsy and disoriented when I don’t feel good. And ten times out of 10, I have congestion issues during the course of my sickness and even for a little while afterwards. My advice is to invest in Mentholatum Nightime Vaporub (it’s just like Vick’s but all-natural) or some Eucalyptus Oil and a humidifier. I also try to invest my time into taking a nap on my days off.

Medications + Vitamins to Avoid When You’re Sick in the 3rd Trimester

  • Melatonin. This is the vitamin that helps you sleep and helps regulate your sleeping pattern.
  • Bismuth subsalicylate (i.e Pepto-Bismol).
  • Phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine, which is decongestants.
  • Cough and cold medicines that contain guaifenesin.
  • Pain medicines like aspirin and ibuprofen (such as Advil and Motrin) and naproxen (such as Aleve)
  • Some antibiotics, such as doxycycline and tetracycline.

Aside from the physical symptoms that come with sicknesses, you may also experience lots of stress with is not good for the baby. So make sure you’re taking plenty of time to relax and breathe. (As best as you can.) Practice breathing exercises, listen to some podcasts or take a bath.

Being sick isn’t fun, especially when you’re pregnant. It’s important to remember to take the necessary precautions to keep you and your baby safe.

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