A cough is sufficiently troublesome at the best of days. When you are pregnant, coughing can be more inconvenient, especially if it hinders sleep. Expecting mothers may have a dry cough during any point of the pregnancy, but mostly the issue is found to increase during the final stages of pregnancy, as the breathing turns out to be more troublesome in the later stages of the gestational period.
There are two forms of a cough. A dry cough and wet cough. In this article, let us find out the reasons, and remedies for a dry cough.
Normal cough fills a demand. Cough helps in taking away the mucus or phlegm, which advances down from the nose through the rear of the throat or, which has been expelled from the lungs.
In both cases, normal coughs are useful, as they will allow the body to remove mucus or phlegm and they ought not to be held back or suppressed with medicines.
On the other hand, a dry cough does not get rid of any mucus. Therefore, it is just a nuisance for the body. A dry cough is therefore termed non-productive.
A dry cough helps to clear the large breathing passages from the irritants, foreign particles, and microbes. Therefore, a persistent dry cough indicates the presence of unwanted irritants and microorganisms in the air passage.
The major causes of dry cough during pregnancy are:
As the immune system weakens in the course of pregnancy, if proper care is not taken, it is easy to catch infections that lead to a dry cough
Rhinitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the nose. In the course of pregnancy, as the estrogen level shoots up, the mucus membrane that lines the nose swells. This swelling and irritation can prompt a dry cough
Hay fever, also known as allergic rhinitis, occurs due to hypersensitivity to animal fur, grass, and tree pollen, which can bring about eyes and nose irritation. If the throat is affected, hay fever will bring out a dry cough
Bronchospasm refers to the sudden shrinking of the muscles in the walls of the bronchioles. This results in the narrowing of the air passages. Bronchospasm is usually experienced with constant bronchitis. It can likewise happen as a response to an insect bite and during an allergic reaction to certain foods. Bronchospasm can bring about a dry cough
Acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux, which is quite common during pregnancy, now counts as a cause of dry cough. The acidic contents of the stomach that travel upwards, if by any chance, enter the upper respiratory tract, can bring about inflammation of the lining of the respiratory tract resulting in a dry cough
Allergies can also prompt a dry cough. If you experience any type of allergy, exposure to the allergen can aggravate your breathing passages, which can lead to coughing
Asthma sufferers usually experience dry coughs and breathing challenges in the course of pregnancy
A cough may come along with (maybe from the beginning, or middle, or even towards the end of) viral infections like a common cold or the flu. A dry cough will continue even after the other symptoms disappear
You may experience a dry cough if you are exposed to smog, irritant gas, or tobacco smoke. This is because the poor quality of air can irritate the back of the throat, which in turn can prompt a dry cough
Keeping the issue of a dry cough 100% at bay in the course of pregnancy is practically impossible. However, the chances of catching a dry cough can be reduced by:
Anyone who has ever encountered an extreme episode of a cough knows how bothering it can be. A dry cough in the course of pregnancy can bring about more significant issues.
This is because of the fact that, during pregnancy, the body will already be in a super delicate state. A dry cough can put extra effort on the delicate pregnant body.
Issues that can happen if you cough too much in the course of pregnancy include:
Lack of sleep usually comes with a dry cough. Even otherwise, sleep is the easy prey of pregnancy (and motherhood). With the uneasiness of the growing body and related body aches, no wonder sleep is more affected. A dry cough can lead to sleep issues, particularly in the last trimester
During pregnancy, your uterus takes up too much space and tends to press the bladder, which can bring about incontinence. Added pressure to the bladder leaves less space to hold urine and you can encounter one too many episodes of urine leakage due to cough
A dry cough can interfere with the eating routine. You may not be able to eat properly with a troublesome dry cough. This is not good, as during pregnancy proper intake of nutritious food is necessary
A dry cough can be due to some underlying health issues. Ignoring a dry cough naturally results in, the untreated underlying issue creating issues for both mother and the unborn child
A dry cough during pregnancy will not harm your baby because the baby is safe inside the womb and even doesn’t feel you coughing. However, some underlying causes of cough like bronchitis, or pneumonia may cause complications during pregnancy.
Similarly, sometimes home remedies for dry cough like particular herbal teas, and intake of OTC medicines for dry cough without medical supervision can harm the baby. Pregnant women must see a doctor if they have a persistent cough or other respiratory diseases.
This way, they can initiate treatments that are safe for the baby at the right time and avoid complications.
If the doctor confirms that your cough is harmless, you can try out a few tips, which help to soothe the discomforts that arise due to a dry cough. Remember that these are not curing measures, just relieving measures.
A few things you can do to make yourself more comfortable along with medication prescribed by the doctor are:
A dry cough mostly is innocuous. Be that as it may, do contact your doctor if by any chance you have any of the following signs:
A dry cough can bother pregnant women a lot. Therefore, it is important to find some solution to solve this issue. Foremost of all, tell your doctor regarding dry cough before trying to ease it yourself. Self-medicating is not a good idea in the course of pregnancy.
Besides, identifying, and handling the underlying issue that brings out a dry cough is vital. Medications ought to be entirely under the supervision of your specialist.
It is best to avoid the use of over-the-counter medicines during pregnancy. However, if the cough becomes way too nasty to handle, seek your doctor’s recommendation on what medicines you can take. Common medicines that one takes for cough may not be safe for the growing fetus.
Cough suppressants, anesthetic sore throat lozenges, cough syrups, etc., should only be taken if prescribed by the doctor. Cough drops with natural ingredients may be effective, but it is always best to check with your doctor first.
It is always better for you to meet your doctor without much delay if a dry cough makes you suffer. Waiting can aggravate your symptoms. However, no need to worry much. The odds are high that your cough will cause no harm to your unborn baby and you.
Yes, in some cases it might. If you have resistant dry cough it can irritate your throat. However, if you see too much blood or the bleeding is continuous, consult your doctor immediately.
Yes it can. The curcumin in turmeric can help combat dry cough. Turmeric has other benefits too.
No, please don’t . When you are pregnant, you should take only medications prescribed by your doctor. Some medications can cause harm to your baby.
Yes it can. It is quite common for pregnant women to suffer from cough when they are pregnant. It will subside on its own after the delivery.