Posts Tagged ‘saline drops’

Stuffy nose seem worse during pregnancy?

Monday, September 10th, 2012

congestionDuring pregnancy, you may have a runny or stuffy nose or occasional nosebleeds. You can’t necessarily blame it on hay fever. These symptoms often begin toward the end of the first trimester and may continue until after delivery.

Your body goes through hormonal changes during pregnancy, and your blood supply increases. These changes may cause the membranes in your nose to swell, dry out or bleed more easily. These changes may cause you to have a constant stuffy or runny nose, even if you have no cold symptoms. You may have occasional nosebleeds, particularly during the winter months. Fun, right?

Don’t despair. To help relieve congestion and dryness:
  – Use a humidifier. This will help to moisten the air in your home. Keep a humidifier in the bedroom to help ease congestion that keeps you awake at night. Be sure to clean the humidifier often so mold won’t grow.
  – Drink plenty of fluids. This will help keep your nasal passages moist. 
  – Use steam. Take a warm shower before bedtime. It may help ease congestion that keeps you awake at night.
  – Use saline drops. They help moisten your nasal passages. You can find these at the drug store. But don’t use medicated nose drops, sprays or decongestants without first checking with your health care provider.
  – Blow your nose gently. Easy does it! Blowing your nose hard or often can aggravate the membranes and lead to more runniness or nosebleeds.
  – Use a warm, wet washcloth. Apply it to your cheeks, eyes and nose to help reduce congestion.
  – Elevate your head. Use an extra pillow when you sleep to prevent mucus from blocking your throat.
  
To stop a nosebleed:
  – Remain seated and keep your head up. Lying down or tilting your head can cause you to swallow blood and become nauseated.
  – Apply pressure. Hold the nostril closed for at least 4 minutes.
  – Use ice or a cold pack. This helps narrow the blood vessels and stop the bleeding.

Nosebleeds and congestion are rarely signs of any serious problems. But talk to your health care provider if you have nosebleeds often or if the bleeding doesn’t stop after applying pressure and ice. If the congestion is not eased by any of the suggestions above or if congestion keeps you from getting a good night’s rest, talk to your health care provider about whether it is safe to take an over-the-counter decongestant.

Taking baby’s temperature

Friday, December 4th, 2009

7706307_thbA couple of weeks ago I wrote a post called, You can’t call-in sick when you’re a mom. Well wouldn’t you know it, I inevitably gave my daughter her first cold. That night she woke at 1am hysterically crying. I went into her room and as soon as I picked her up I knew she had a fever. She was hot to the touch. I got the thermometer out and took her temperature. Sure enough, it was 102.2. I gave her an infant dose of acetaminophen (carefully read the directions of course – how much to give depends on your babies’ weight), started the cool-mist humidifier, used some saline drops and a nasal aspirator to relieve the congestion. After hours of rocking her, she finally fell back asleep and stayed in my arms until 6am. Her fever broke by late morning, but her congestion got worse. She couldn’t even nurse. I had to pump and feed her with a medicine dropper! Am I the only one with a baby that refuses to take a bottle?

A digital thermometer can be used to take a rectal (in the bottom), oral (in the mouth), or axillary (under the arm) temperature. Your child’s doctor can recommend how to use it depending on your child’s age. Taking a rectal or oral temperature is more accurate than taking an axillary temperature.

If your child is younger than 3 years, taking a rectal temperature gives the best reading. The following is how to take a rectal temperature:

• Clean the end of the thermometer with rubbing alcohol or soap and water. Rinse it with cool water. Do not rinse it with hot water.

• Put a small amount of lubricant, such as petroleum jelly, on the end.

• Place your child belly down across your lap or on a firm surface. Hold him by placing your palm against his lower back, just above his bottom. Or place your child face up and bend his legs to his chest. Rest your free hand against the back of the thighs.

• With the other hand, turn the thermometer on and insert it 1/2 inch to 1 inch into the anal opening. Do not insert it too far. Hold the thermometer in place loosely with 2 fingers, keeping your hand cupped around your child’s bottom. Keep it there for about 1 minute, until you hear the “beep.” Then remove and check the digital reading.

• Be sure to label the rectal thermometer so it’s not accidentally used in the mouth.
Mercury thermometers should not be used. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to remove mercury thermometers from their homes to prevent accidental exposure to this toxin.

Ah choo!

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

Remember a couple of months ago when I wrote about the importance of a pre-pregnancy check-up? (Check out the Archives section if you missed it.) Well, here’s something I should have discussed with my provider, but completely forgot to bring it up at the time.

I’ve always suffered from seasonal allergies. It usually starts in early spring and lasts through the summer. My doctor prescribes inhalers and nasals sprays for relief of symptoms like wheezing and congestion. I have a couple of over-the-counter meds that help a little, too. Between the lilacs and spring cleaning though I can’t seem to catch a break.

Normally I don’t think about the medication I take. If I’m feeling lousy I open up the medicine cabinet and take what I need, but from now on I plan to exercise a little more caution by reading labels and talking to my doctor first. Some medicines may not be safe to use during pregnancy. This includes prescription, over-the-counter and herbal medicines. As an alternative, I’m going to try a humidifier and saline drops just to be on the safe side.