Cough During Pregnancy

5 min read

Written by Pradeep


Cough During Pregnancy
Cough is a very common condition which most of us contract 2-3 times a year. Cough is mostly caused by virus, hence we says it’s viral or by bacteria. Usually its not a serious issue and resolves within a few days with proper care. But coughs during pregnancy can be bothersome for many.

Since the immune system weakens during pregnancy, expecting mothers may experience frequent bouts of coughs. And this raises the question whether this virus attack may harm the baby.

In This Article

Does Cough in Pregnancy Affect My Baby?

Though fetuses are largely resilient, yet a pregnant woman could be worried about cough and its effects on the baby. If you are coughing too much, you’d probably be stressed out – as coughing may take its toll physically and may be interfering with your appetite. If that is the case, and you are stressed, your body would release a hormone cortisol, which has the ability to penetrate the placenta and negatively impact the growing baby. In such a situation, it would be best to consult your gynaecologist as stress has been linked to birth defects and low birth weight.

Coughing cause the stomach muscles to move up and down, but this usually does not harm the baby. Sometimes expecting mothers may experience a few leaks due to excessive coughing. This is nothing to worry about, just a sign that you need to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles by exercising.

[Read : Top 5 Benefits of Kegels during Pregnancy]

What Medicines Can I Take For Cough During Pregnancy?

Medicines for cough during pregnancy

Now since you are two lives in one body, anything you do or eat may affect your unborn baby. So caution should be exercised while ingesting any medicine. Those medicines which you had been taking before pregnancy may not be completely safe for the baby. The first three months of pregnancy are very crucial for the development of the baby, therefore its best to consult the doctor before taking any medicines.

Below is a list of cough medicines considered to be safe during pregnancy. These are easily available at home or over the counter and effectively treat cough:

  • Lozenges: Containing Ginger, Menthol and Honey
  • Basic Cough Syrups: Vicks Cough Syrup
  • Paracetamol: Only in Recommended Doses
  • Tylenol: Package Instructions Should be Followed

Unsafe Cough Medicines During Pregnancy

Due to growing evidence of certain drugs affecting the unborn child, some of these have been identified and must definitely be avoided. You may have been treating yourself with the medicines below, but consult the doctor before using them in pregnancy:

  • Decongestants as they may cause abnormalities to the fetus
  • Combination of medicines such as ibuprofen or Nurofen
  • Aspirin as there are sufficient studies identifying risk to fetus
  • Naproxen
  • Codiene
  • Avoid medicines containing caffeine and alcohol.
  • If cough adds to back pain, consult doctor before taking any painkillers

[Read : Aspirin During Pregnancy]

Home Remedies For Cough in Pregnancy

women drinking orange juice

Nothing better than going natural! Naturally taming diseases ensures no side-effects and no chances of harming the baby. Read below to acquaint yourselves with a few natural remedies on combating general cough during pregnancy:

  • Drink plenty of warm fluids.
  • Try honey mixed with hot water.
  • Gargling with saline solution – simply mix a teaspoon of salt in a glass of warm water and gargle.
  • Orange juice- for all the vitamin C it has.
  • If cough is accompanied with congestion, have hot soups and try humidifier mixed with Vicks VapoRub.
  • Inhale steam – mixed with eucalyptus oil.
  • Saline drops can be used to get relief from congested nose.
  • Sleep with elevated pillow as it eases down nose, congestion and helps breathe easier.

When to See the Doctor For Cough?

pregnant women and doctor

If you experience some other symptoms along with cough or the cough seems to persist and deteriorates it’s time to visit the doctor! Usually if the cough doesn’t improves in 10 days and is accompanied by following symptoms, it could raise a red flag. You should even consider seeing the doctor if coughing leads to pain in other organs of the body or interrupts sleep.

Severe Symptoms of Cough During Pregnancy

Here are some severe symptoms of cough that need medical intervenes:

  • Spitting mucus – green or yellow or blood
  • Chest pain and wheezing
  • Fever, which doesn’t subside with paracetamol
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Vaginal bleeding

Prolonged symptoms should not be ignored as they may indicate an underlying condition such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinusitis or even tuberculosis which need proper medical attention. These conditions may affect the baby.

[Read : Pneumonia During Pregnancy]

Tips to Prevent Cough in Pregnancy

flu shot for pregnant women

When pregnant, your body works to sustain and nourish the little life flourishing inside you. This weakens your immune system and you are susceptible to common colds, and coughs. It is not possible to steer clear of every germ that can cause cough, yet you can try and boost your chances of not getting sick by taking the below precautions:

  • Stay away from people or children at home suffering from cough and cold.
  • Practice hygiene (i.e) wash hands thoroughly with soap and often.
  • Keep your surroundings clean as bacteria thrive in dirty areas.
  • Avoid sharing stuff with those suffering from cold.
  • Ensure sufficient sleep and rest.
  • If you are frequently prone to coughs and colds, consider taking a flu jab after consulting with your obstetrician.
  • The best way to avoid coughs during pregnancy would be to help your immune system. Have a balanced diet, eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, stay hydrated, rest, and exercise to strengthen the immune system.

All in all, persistent cough should not be ignored during pregnancy. Follow the above home remedies, if the cough still persists, immediately consult the doctor. To sum up, stay stress free and hydrated during pregnancy to avoid unpleasant experiences such as coughs. Eat healthy and live healthy!

Read Also: Dry Cough During Pregnancy- Causes, Treatment And Prevention


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