Call to the Bullpen: An Official Invite for Former Smackdown Question-Asker People

By Amalah

After reading the Itchy Boobs post, I thought it would be interesting to see some kind of follow up on some of your more “out there” questions. Did your advice work, what ended up being the cause, that kind of thing.

I’ve gotten several requests for formal follow-up columns, and since I am currently very suddenly dying from a terrible head cold and feelings of murderous rage every time my husband (who got me sick in the first place, what with his “job” and his “friends” and his “leaving the house occasionally”) can happily reach for the Nyquil while I’m trying to survive on tea and Puffs Plus with Vicks, I am going to waste an entire column with what easily could have been a quick little aside somewhere.
Hi! Have you submitted a question to the Smackdown? A question that has actually been answered? (I know, I know, that second part is a grumbly sticking point for a lot of you, what with my dart-board question-selection system.) Did any of the advice (from me or the comments) do the trick? Or did you solve your stringy hair-itchy-boob-zit-bonanza-relationship-crisis on your own, and would you be willing to share your new-found wisdom with the class?
Send your updates, stories, before-and-after photos or anything else you wouldn’t mind seeing published here to amyadvice AT (I have gotten a few follow-up letters to some of the more personal life-drama questions in the past, but they usually request that no further details show up on the Internet.) Please clearly indicate somewhere in the subject line that you’re submitting a follow-up. It doesn’t have to be anything long or involved (and hopefully we won’t get any emails that say “I bought Philosophy’s Hope in a Jar and IT RUINED MY MARRIAGE!!!”), just let us all know how you’re doing and what ended up working FOR YOU.
I’ll try to publish them in batches, so as not to take too much space away from the hundreds of still-unanswered questions languishing in the queue.
Your homework for today’s comment section, however? Pregnancy-safe, natural cold remedies, particularly for the “oh my god there’s a jackhammer in my sinuses and sandpaper in my throat” type of cold. Bleeeeeeeargh.
Don’t forget to follow Amalah’s pregnancy adventures at her Weekly Pregnancy Calendar.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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  • Michelle

    May 8, 2008 at 11:59 am

    Benedryl was on my drs approved list – worked for me at 6w when I was felled by a craptastic cough & cold…bah!

  • angela

    May 8, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    Mucinex cleared up my multiple sinus infections during this pregnancy. It’s totally disgusting and I don’t suggest taking it if you plan to leave the house for a long time, but it really does work. With the extra mucus pregnancy creates and then the medicine on top of that, you are sure to get rid of the infection.

  • heels

    May 8, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    Those Shower Soothers and hot lemon-ginger tea with a touch of honey. Um… not at the same time.

  • psumommy

    May 8, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    Tylenol Cold…it was approved by 2 different OB’s and 2 midwives for me. So I trust it. And don’t think I could survive a pregnancy without it! That and lots of pity from my mom and from my hubby. 🙂

  • Liz C

    May 8, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Two words: neti pot.
    For real. I just started using it for me and my son and it makes a huge difference. And it’s only salt water — no drugs! is the one I bought. They have videos on their site.
    And Tylenol is good for what I call the “misery factor”. And lemon-ginger tea just because. 🙂

  • Isabel

    May 8, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    I’ve been lucky enough to have you answer one of my questions. Here’s hoping the info I just e-mailed you is what you’re looking for!
    Now, get better quick!

  • Melissa

    May 8, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    I second the Shower Soothers. I don’t know how much time you have to be standing in the shower what with a toddler and all (maybe tonight after Jason gets home?), but they helped me a ton when I got sick at four months.

  • brid

    May 8, 2008 at 3:29 pm

    All the tips sound good. Really good. Here’s a couple that won’t cure, but might help with the coping.
    Wet wash cloths. As hot as you can stand them over your sinuses for a couple of minutes. It’s more helpful then it sounds. Honest.
    Vasoline smeared on your chapped nose and lips right before you get in the shower. Leave it on for a few minutes before dabbing it off. It helps seal in the moisture or something.
    Breathe Right nasal strips (in Sm/M clear) help me sleep if I’m very congested.
    Good luck and feel better!

  • bethany actually

    May 8, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Oh, sinus/cold things are MISERABLE. I had three bad ones this year alone, every one of them while traveling. Nothing like basking in the hospitality of family and friends while blowing your nose every ten seconds!
    Tylenol, which you are probably already taking. It’s an anti-inflammatory so even you don’t have pain it helps decrease swelling in your inflamed throat and pressure in your sinuses.
    I think most nasal decongestant sprays are safe for pregnancy, and those suckers work great for decongesting or even just for relieving sinus pressure. Of course there’s always plain ol’ saline spray, which is kinda gross but also really works. And I second the Mucinex recommended by a commenter above.
    Saltwater gargle for your sandpapery throat.
    Feel better soon!

  • mrspooley

    May 8, 2008 at 9:54 pm

    My OB told me all the Theraflu hot drinks were safe. The main ingredient is Acetaminophen which is the same for Tylenol but there’s something about that hot lemon drink that helps sooth throat, nose and body along with the meds.

  • andi

    May 9, 2008 at 12:27 pm

    If you’re sure it’s just a cold then feel free to try any of the remedies already mentioned. BUT. If you think it might be an actual sinus infection get thee to a doctor. I was pregnant with my third when I got a sinus infection – which my OB and I tried to treat naturally. I ended up with spinal meningitis. (your sinuses are very close to all the nerves etc… and the infection can move from the sinuses to your nerves) Sorry, I don’t mean to be one of those people that tell horror stories to pregnant ladies – but most doctors don’t tell you that can happen with a sinus infection.

  • Kristina

    May 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    Benadryl and Sudafed were both approved by my OB/GYN when I was pregnant, thank GOD! A cool-mist humidifier, saline nose drops, and hot showers all help break up sinus congestion and keep everything flowing (YUM). And while Tylenol (acetaminophen) is an excellent pain reliever, it is NOT an anti-inflammatory (someone mentioned above that it is). Hope this helps, and congrats on the new babylah!

  • Jenn

    May 10, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    Along the lines of the neti pot- i got the neilmed sinus rinse. And it is a GODSEND. Seriously, it rinses out the sinuses and you will be amazed at the difference. Hope you find something that helps!

  • Catherine

    May 10, 2008 at 7:07 pm

    Neti Pot! It helped me immensely with pregnancy sinus infections/headaches; cold symptoms; aaaand my husband’s snoring! It takes a few tries to get comfortable with it, but there’s lots of internet info about how to use it. My doctor is a huge fan: she says that regular use can actually help prevent colds.