Catching a cold is never something that doesn’t let you relax and even gets painful at times. But enduring a dry, wet, or constant cough during pregnancy might be a little extra irritating. But don’t get scared about it. You are not the first person to catch a cold during pregnancy.
The good news is there is almost nothing to worry about, and with very little medication and some home remedies, you will get better in no time. There are certain things that you have to consider before you reach for your regular cough medication. Here is everything you need to know about a cough during pregnancy. So, read along.
What Are The Causes Of A Cough During Pregnancy?
Catching a cold during pregnancy is nothing uncommon. This is not something new that you will be experiencing. A woman goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy, but there is something that never changes. That is the reason behind the cough. But one thing is for sure, there is no reason to blame your baby for it.
There are a lot of reasons why you can catch a cold or flu. Cold is a form of common infection that we all get at some point or the other. However, pregnancy might be difficult for some people, and every woman’s body responds differently during pregnancy. It is important to take care during this time as the immune system gets weak while you are pregnant.
Can A Cough Hurt The Baby During Pregnancy?
The only good thing about it is that a cough does not affect the baby in any way. And there is no chance that you will get into labor because of the cough. According to Nancy Philips, MD, and director at the Cente for Vulvar and Vaginal Health at the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School says, “Baby is protected inside the muscle of the uterus and is surrounded by amniotic fluid, which acts as a buffer against movements associated with coughing.”
Even though it is assuring, that does not mean that you are absolutely in the clear and there is no risk. If the illness that is causing the cough is left untreated, then there is a chance that it might affect the baby.
For instance, pregnanct women are at a higher risk of getting affected by complications like flu and Covid-19, which causes cough. This is the reason why you should never leave a cough untreated and try to find out the reasons behind the cough, the illness that is responsible for the cough.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms That A Woman Can Develop If She Catches A Cold During Pregnancy?
Cough during pregnancy mainly happens because of some viral infections. The infection could be from a transient illness and can be because of a systemic viral infection which might need you to be hospitalized and can cause serious complications for the mother and the baby. That is why look for the following symptoms:
- Chills with fever
- Watery eyes
- Dry cough
- Joint pains and body aches
- Malaise or generalized discomfort
- Blocked or runny nose and nasal congestion
What Cough Medicines Are Safe During Pregnancy?
Unfortunately, there is not much research about cough and cold during pregnancy. A lot of intensive research is required to know the effectiveness and safety of the medicines that can be used to treat a cough during pregnancy.
There has been not enough research on the over-the-counter medicines. If they actually do help a woman with a cough during this crucial time or not. And if you are going with the over-the-counter medicines, there are a few that are considered safe.
This is a cough suppressant that doctors consider to be safe throughout the term of pregnancy.
This is an expectorant, meaning it helps in thinning the mucus. This is mostly recommended after the first trimester.
This is a decongestant that is only recommended for a pregnant woman after the first trimester. If a pregnant woman has high blood pressure, then it is best to avoid this medicine.
It is also better to avoid medicines that have a high sugar content or contain alcohol. Check with a medical expert before you take any medicine during pregnancy. During pregnancy, an expectant mother should never take cough medicines for a long time. But if the symptoms last for more than a couple of weeks, seek medical help immediately.
Home Remedies For Cough During Pregnancy
Coughs mostly go away within a week, and they do not even need medication for most of it. What I am trying to say is that during pregnancy, if you get a cough, you just probably need to wait. But there are some home remedies that you can try to make yourself feel better. Those are:
- Drink a lot of fluids.
- If needed use a humidifier.
- Drink hot water with lemon and honey or hot tea.
- To get relief from the soar throat and cough, gargle with some warm water.
- Use saline drops if it is happening from congestion or post-nasal drip.
If you suspect that the cough is because of the reflux, then try to avoid large meals. Eat small portions throughout the day, and that might be the solution to your problem. Moreover, avoid having spicy food, and do not lie on your back after you eat. If you have a tendency to get a cough because of allergies, they try to avoid what triggers it.
When Should You See A Doctor?
Though cough and cold are mostly harmless, there are some causes that affect the baby and the expectant mother as well. If you find any of these following symptoms, then it is best not to waste any time and get help from a professional.
- High-grade fever
- Difficulty in breathing
- If the medicine is not working
- Severe discomfort and abdominal pain
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Vomiting or persistent nausea
- If you notice, the fetal movement has significantly reduced.
Cough during pregnancy might not be scary, but the illness causing it could be. So it is always a good idea not to take any risks during this crucial time and to get help from a doctor.
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