Cough is the most common reason for which people often consult their doctor. It is an important reflex action that keeps your airways and lungs free from secretions, germs, and foreign bodies interfering with normal breathing. Cough during pregnancy is an annoying condition; it is more problematic for the pregnant woman, since many cough medicines are contraindicated due to adverse effect on the fetus.
Is Constant Cough During Pregnancy Dangerous?
Cough during pregnancy, especially persistent cough can affect her sleep and make her feel more tired and fatigued. It may also affect her routine activities. However, cough during pregnancy is not dangerous for the fetus. This is because the fetus is covered by a protective shock absorbing lining called amniotic fluid. A cough will generally subside on its own, but a persistent cough may indicate a serious disease especially if it continues for more than a week, and if it is associated with other respiratory symptoms such as breathlessness, chest pain, fever and so on.
The common causes for cough during pregnancy include colds, flu, and allergies.
If you are pregnant and you are smoking, stop it immediately. Smoking is one of the leading causes for chronic cough. It will not only harm your body but also affect the growing fetus inside your womb.
Gastroesophageal reflux or acid reflux is very common during pregnancy. The gastric content tends to back up in the esophagus and irritate the throat lining leading to reflex cough. The condition is usually caused due to the growing size of the uterus.
Cough during pregnancy can also be triggered by environmental pollution.
How to Treat Cough During Pregnancy?
Most pregnancy related coughs are mild to moderate. They can be easily treated at home with natural home remedies. However, cough that persists for more than seven days may require a specialist consultation, especially when the sputum is yellow or rusty colored.
- A pregnant woman requires should take enough rest when she is suffering from bouts of coughing.
- Drink plenty of liquids and water. Warm water is the best expectorant as it helps to liquefy the mucus in the air passages. It becomes easy for the body to expel thin secretion and lessen the bouts of coughing.
- Chicken soup and warm teas helps to thin mucus secretions that may ultimately be coughed out from the throat.
- One of the effective home remedy for cough during pregnancy is to drink lemon juice mixed with honey. Warm a glassful of water. Add few drops of lemon juice and add 1 to2 teaspoon of honey. Drink the mixture twice in a day. It soothes the sore throat. Lemon contains vitamin C, it bolsters the immune system and helps to fight the infection.
- Steam inhalation or using a humidifier in the room helps the stuffed mucus in the nose and respiratory tract to become thin, and thus help it to escape from the respiratory system.
- Warm water gargling also helps to quell coughing.
- If you are smoking, quit it right away. It not only poisons for the breathing tube but it is also a precursor for fetal anomalies.
- Rub your chest with mentholated salves and creams. It helps to dilate the blood vessels and open the airways for smooth elimination of the mucus.
- Boil basil leaves in water for 10 to 15 minutes. Now strain the liquid and add 2 teaspoon of honey. Drink this mixture 3 times in a day. Basil leaves and honey has natural properties to suppress cough. Besides they do not have any side effects.