A cough during pregnancy is often a symptom of an illness, such as a cold, allergies or respiratory infection. Treating a cough during pregnancy may seem difficult due to the potential risk of harming the fetus by taking over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription medications. There are plenty of natural remedies that are highly effective. Safe medication choices do exist but should only be used under the advice of a medical professional overseeing the pregnancy.
Before opting for medications, a pregnant woman can try several natural remedies for her cough. This includes drinking plenty of fluids to thin mucus secretions that may be causing the cough, say the experts at DrSpock.com. Women should opt for soothing fluids and avoid drinks that are carbonated. Warm tea with honey and lemon can coat the throat to soothe soreness as well as help loosen mucus in the sinuses. Other liquids to try include broth-based soups or mint teas.
Dry air can exacerbate a cough, especially one that was already dry to start. Adding moisture to the surrounding air can reduce the frequency of coughing. A room humidifier should be used throughout the day when possible but especially while sleeping. Staying in a bathroom while a hot shower is running can provide the same type of temporary relief. Add a few drops of eucalyptus or menthol oil to the shower while it is running to help open nasal passages that may be congested.
Depending on the type of cough, there are many OTC medications safe for use during pregnancy. Avoid those that contain alcohol or that are labeled as decongestants. Baby Center also warns pregnant women against using medicines with pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine. Safer choices include cough medicines with active ingredients, such as guaifenesin and dextromethorphan.
There are several cough drop options on the market that contain mostly natural ingredients. These throat lozenges can be used as often as directed, which is usually as often as needed when the cough drops do not contain any medications. Pregnant women can opt for cough drops that contain mint, honey, lemon and other similar natural ingredients.