What to do for MASSIVE chest congestion and dry cough? - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-09-2004, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm 10 weeks and have been SO sick for the past few days. My chest is all congested and it comes up to my throat just enough to tickle it and make me cough constantly but the cough is dry and totally "unproductive". Nothing comes up. When I breathe out I can hear it rattling around in there but I can't get it out. It's awful. The cough keeps me up much of the night and is tiring out my body and giving me a terrible headache. I saw my OB yesterday but she said all I can do is take Tylonol for the headache, drink fluids, and rest, which is what I'm already doing. (She also offered to prescribe codeine to suppress the cough but I feel that is a bit extreme, and anyway I don't want to suppress it, I want to make it productive). My midwife told me mullein is an herbal expectorant safe for pg so I've been drinking a tea of that but it has only helped slightly. I am doing lots of hot showers and baths and inhaling the steam with eucalyptus oil, and running the humidifier. Helps only temporarily. I can barely eat anything I have no appetite, all I can eat is chicken soup and oranges. I can breathe just fine through my nose but it's all in my chest and I can't get it out. I am so miserable! Any advice is appreciated. I just want to go back to the normal challenges of being pregnant, not this!!
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Old 11-10-2004, 02:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone?? I would've posted in Health & Healing but was hoping for advice that is safe for pregnancy.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:06 PM
 
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I would consult with an ND, esp one whose main modality is homeopathics - they are safe for pregnancy. Last year, when I was ttc, I had a horrible cold with a cough that kept me up at night, had to sleep in a lazyboy. I used a homeopathic syrup. It helped. Do you keep a vaporizor going constantly? OLBAS oil, rubbed directly on chest, neck, etc, helps. You can also use it in a steam tent to try to loosen stuff up - more intensive than the shower. It also comes in lozenges. Keep up with the chicken soup - is it homemade? If not, try to find some - when I don't have my own, I find some (frozen) at the local organic butcher or hfs...

Has it become infected? You may have to go for antibiotics. Might not help the cough right away, but it will help clear the infection...

If I think of anything else, I'll let you know...hope it goes away soon...
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:07 PM
 
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oops - just reread your post...I guess if it's not productive, it's not infected green stuff...
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:10 PM
 
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hot ginger compresses on your chest and back!

grate a chunk of ginger and boil in a pan of water. soak hot washcloths in there and lay them on yourself (when cooled enough of course but still pretty warm).

you will likely need someone to help you as you just keep changing them as they cool. do this for about 1/2 hour or so and you should feel a big difference!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you!! These are all great suggestions. I don't have any $$ to consult an ND right now. My midwife did suggest a homeopathic cough syrup by Boiron. I tried her other suggestion honey-loquat syrup and maybe it would be effective if I kept up with it but MAN is it nasty. I cannot stand the taste. It has licorice in it and I hate licorice. I would force myself to take it but the taste is more than I can bear.

I have a humidifier going sometimes but even if I put warm water in it, it gets cold very fast, and it makes the room so cold. (My ds calls it "the freezer".) I haven't heard of Olbas oil, will have to check it out.

About the ginger, I don't have any fresh ginger at the moment, do you think I could use the dry powder instead for the compress??

No, I wish I had homemade chicken soup, but it's canned, Walnut Acres brand. Next whole foods trip will see if they have some in their deli.

I don't have a fever anymore so I don't think it's an infection anymore. What tiny bit does come up is yellow, not green, though.

The mullein tea was helping somewhat but I got so tired of the taste it was making me sick, also mullein is very fine and so many little bits escape out of the teaball and so the tea is very "gravely" which makes me gag.
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Old 11-10-2004, 05:29 PM
 
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Marshmallow Rt Tea.
Elecampane Rt Tea
Ginger Tea
Hyssop Tea

I actually make my own cough syrup out of tinctures of the above (equal parts) mixed with lots of honey. Its completely preggo safe.
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:13 PM
 
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We swear by Tom's of Maine Natural Cough and Cold Rub. It's awesome! I rarely have to give my ds any other cough remedy and he'll sleep right through the night with it. I hope you find some relief! susan
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Old 11-10-2004, 07:38 PM
 
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I don't know about using powdered? but if you do get some, brew up a pot of tea too and you will be set!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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Old 11-10-2004, 09:18 PM
 
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mama lori- i see you are in california. by any wild chance are you in sonoma county? if you are, i could make you some chicken soup. its just so easy, so yummy, and so much cheaper than the whole foods deli. if you arent near me, i could just tell you how i make it, if you dont know how. amazingly easy to make, and i am super lazy .

sorry you are going through this. i have some other ideas but gotta run, i will be back.
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:19 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much everyone for all the great advice! It's very timely because I still am not any better!

Sunbaby, what a generous offer!! I am in Marin County (Novato) - where in Sonoma County are you? I'll bet your homemade chicken soup is divine. And yes I would love the recipe. Thanks!!
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Old 11-11-2004, 12:32 PM
 
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i meant to say yeserday you could do the chest compresses w/out the ginger. I think it would be better than nothing and it really helps clear out your chest a bit. (if you have some peppermint oil that would work too) or you could slather on vics and do it? might be a little messy but I bet you will feel better!

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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Old 11-11-2004, 01:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone know for sure whether camphor and menthol are safe for pg? They're both in the Tom's chest rub.
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Old 11-11-2004, 10:13 PM
 
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well, i dont know about didvine, but pretty darn good chicken soup is as easy as:
a whole chicken, (i like rosie, an organic, super yummy free range hen)
dropeed in a big pot with enough water to just cover. boiled for an hour, then take her out of the water and clean the meat off the carcass. put meat back in water.

add:
a tablespoon sea salt
a yellow onion chopped in quarters.
a tablespoon or more of italian seasoning (i buy in bulk, too expensive from the package unless you already have some)
a cup of rice. simmer twenty more minutes then add:

a cup of amaranth (again from bulk)
chopped carrots.
chopped celery.
simmer twenty more and to thank this hen, because now it is time for a yummy cup of soup, that is going to be so much better for you than soup froma can. sometimes i just add a little more salt, or sometimes a squirt of Bragg's is enough, and sometimes a dash of lemon and braggs does me just right.

i am in windsor, i cant commit to a drive to novato anytime soon enough to be helpful, so i feel kinda bad, because you are almost close enough i could justify it.

i would reccomend that while you are at whole foods, you pick up some carlson's cod liver oil. lemon flavored. my naturopath says a tablespoon a day is great for respiratory health, and ok for pregnancy, as long as you stick to one tablespoon. (its screened for the toxins you often find in fish)

i hope you feel better soon. my dd has lots of trouble with respiratory stuff every winter. no fun. plus, you probably already know this, but cut out all dairy untill you are 100%, even goat dairy can cause your body to create some excess mucous.
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, thank you sunbaby. I'm gonna go make my shopping list. The recipe sounds delicious. Good idea too about the cod liver oil.

Fortunately with this illness it's been easy to cut out dairy. I've had no desire for it at all. The thought of it makes me gag. Seems pretty much all I want to eat is soup and fruit.

Thanks again so much everyone.
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Old 11-11-2004, 11:28 PM
 
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I like putting a saucepan of boiling water on the stove, then adding rosemary, sage and eucalyptus oil to it. It really helps just by being in the same room with it. You dont' necessarily have to stand over the stove, but some people do.

Then, there's always spicy food.
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Old 11-12-2004, 12:22 AM
 
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Quote:
My midwife did suggest a homeopathic cough syrup by Boiron
I really that cough syrup
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