Pregnancy can be a trying time for women, especially those who are first timers. One of the common problems faced by many pregnant women is the production of excessive amounts of phlegm during pregnancy, even with the mildest of colds. It can lead to severe congestion and problems with breathing and exacerbate symptoms of morning sickness, that happens to be another curse of pregnancy.
Normally, this excessive amount of phlegm is of minor consequence unless it is has a yellowish, greenish, reddish or brownish color. Yellow or green phlegm may signify the presence of pus and mucus, that could be harmful for both mother and unborn child, while reddish or brownish tinged phlegm may indicate the presence of blood, a much more serious affair. These symptoms call for an immediate visit to the doctor.
The discomfort caused by phlegm can be tremendous especially when combined with morning sickness. The constant coughing can disrupt sleep patterns and exacerbate back pain, leaving the mother-to-be feeling tired, irritable and even depressed. To top it all, the relief provided by conventional medicines such as cough syrups may also be out of reach since they may have an adverse effect on the health of the unborn child.
For those of you suffering from excessive amounts of phlegm there are a few simple remedies you can try that will provide you with relief. These home remedies should only be attempted after consulting a doctor and ruling out the possibility of a serious cause.
The first remedy involves your diet. You should drink adequate amounts of water so as to keep yourself hydrated at all times. This will also prevent the phlegm from getting too thick and viscous. Drinking lots of chicken broth will also help you to keep your strength up. Studies have shown that chicken soup can also help to thin out mucus secretions as well as prevent the body’s immune system from generating an inflammatory response.
Honey is another age old remedy for cough and cold. Honey has excellent anti—bacterial and anti-microbial qualities apart from being an excellent home remedy for cough. For the best results, honey should be mixed with warm water or tea and drunk first thing in the morning.
Another difficult to swallow remedy involves the use of raw onions and sugar. What you need is one medium sized chopped onion over which ½ a cup of sugar is poured and left to soak overnight. The onion absorbs the sugar and makes a thick syrupy paste which can be swallowed. One tablespoonful should be taken every two hours to enjoy relief from cough. Do not try this remedy if you are feeling nauseous as it may trigger a bout of vomiting. Naturally, diabetics too should also abstain.
Another popular remedy involves the use of Echinacea which is reputed to be a potent immune booster and helps bolster the body’s defenses against bacterial and viral infections. However, you should consult your doctor before trying this home remedy.
Eucalyptus oil can help decrease chest congestion. You can try having a hot bath into which a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil has been added. Stand in the bath and allow the fumes to travel upwards towards your face. The heat and the fumes entering your lungs can help clear the congestion in your chest.
Another way is to try steam inhalation. Put your head over a pan of boiling water and add a few drops of eucalyptus oil. Cover both the pan and your head with a towel and breathe in the vapor. This is one of the most effective means of relieving congestion in the chest due to phlegm.
Once again, you should be warned that phlegm during your pregnancy should be reported immediately to your doctor before attempting any of the home remedies mention here.