A cough is troublesome enough in the best of days. But when you are pregnant, ordinary discomforts can become significant problems. And that includes a bout of coughing. Is coughing wrecking havoc in your pregnant body? Are you worried about the effect of incessant dry cough during pregnancy? If you nodded yes to these questions, this article is just what you need!
So, before you worry yourself sick about your cough, let’s put your mind at rest.
Difference Between Dry and Normal Cough:
Most of us have no clue about the difference between a regular cough and dry cough. A cough is a cough, right?Wrong!
A cough is a very helpful tool, which allows the body to remove mucus or phlegm from the back of the throat. But a dry cough serves no purpose and is just a nuisance for the body.
[ Read: Croup During Pregnancy ]
What Causes Dry Cough During Pregnancy:
Many women experience a dry cough during pregnancy, especially in the third trimester. Here are the major causes why pregnant women experience a dry cough:
Women who suffer from allergies very often experience coughing during pregnancy. When an allergen enters the body’s airway, it can make breathing difficult and cause coughing.
If a woman has asthma, she can experience a dry cough and breathing difficulties during pregnancy.
Women with chronic bronchitis can experience bronchospasm (over activity of the bronchioles muscles), which too can cause dry cough. Bronchospasm can also occur as a reaction to insect bite and during allergic reaction to certain foods.
[ Read: Bronchitis During Pregnancy ]
4. Rhinitis Of Pregnancy:
Here is a condition that afflicts only pregnant women and cause coughing. During pregnancy, the level of estrogen in the body can shoot up and lead to swollen mucous membranes in the nose. Rhinitis of pregnancy can cause congestion and dry cough too.
5. Weakened Immune System:
When a woman is pregnant, her immune system is at its weakest. So, it easy to catch infections that cause a cough if one is not careful.
Stomach acid and heartburn are common pregnancy problems and can cause a dry cough in some cases.
[ Read: Heartburn During Pregnancy ]
Can Dry Cough In Pregnancy Causes Complications?
Anybody who has ever experienced a severe bout of coughing knows how irritating it can be. But can dry cough in pregnancy cause more serious complications?
When you are pregnant, your body is already in a super fragile state. Coughing can further aggravate the fragile pregnant body. Here are some of the complications you can face, thanks to coughing:
Pregnancy is the one time in your life when embarrassment becomes second nature! Things that earlier made you blush can become passé during pregnancy. But don’t add incontinence to the list. Your uterus takes up too much space when you are pregnant, tends to press the bladder, which can cause incontinence. Add coughing to the mix, and you can experience one too many incidents of urine leakage.
Sleep is the biggest victim of pregnancy (and motherhood, in general). When your body is growing rapidly, and every inch of you hurts, sleep can become elusive. A dry cough can aggravate sleep problems, especially in the final trimester.
[ Read: Insomnia During Pregnancy ]
It is normal for pregnant women to experience a limited amount of stress during their pregnancy. After all, growing a baby is no child’s play! But too much stress not just harms you but can also impact your unborn baby adversely. Many pregnant women tend to stress over the smallest of things, including coughing.
4. Infections and Other Health Issues:
Sometimes, it is easy to ignore coughing as just another nuisance and part of life. But when the coughing is due to an infection or some underlying health issue, it can be devastating. An untreated health issue can create problems for your baby too.
5. Improper Nutrition:
When you are pregnant, you need to eat a healthy and balanced meal. Unfortunately, a dry cough can make eating difficult and cause nutrition deficiency in extreme cases.
Treating Dry Cough While Pregnant:
The one thing we can all agree on is that a dry cough is tough on pregnant women. So, it is no wonder that women look for some tricks to ease the coughing and find some relief.
We have some easy tips that can help but first things first – if you are experiencing a cough that is causing you discomfort, talk to your doctor. It is important first to understand reasons of a cough before you try to treat it. Self-medicating is a bad idea at the best of times, and when you are pregnant, it can be the shortcut to devastation!
If your doctor thinks that your cough is harmless, you can try the remedies and tips mentioned here. But remember, the tips here will only help ease the symptom and will not cure the cause. For that, you need a health care professional.
Some of the things you can do to find relief from a dry cough during pregnancy are:
- Drink plenty of fluids. Keeping your body hydrated is paramount during pregnancy. So drink a lot of water, which will help control a case of a dry cough too.
- Try drinking lukewarm water with lemon to find relief from a cough.
- Another great way to soothe an irritated throat and dry cough is honey. Add some honey to warm water and drink it. But do ask your doctor if it is okay for you to consume honey while pregnant because some people can react negatively to it.
- Cough drops are ever popular and an easy (though temporary) method of cough control. Ask your doctor to recommend a good, pregnancy safe cough drop to find relief.
- Sleeping during pregnancy, especially when you are suffering from a cough, can be tough. Try to elevate your head with pillows to help you deal with a pregnancy and dry cough induced insomnia.
- If an allergy is what is causing your coughing bouts, simply stay away from potential allergens. Dust, strong odors (perfumes), cleaning products, etc. can all cause a dry cough and should be avoided.
- Your immune system needs a boost when you are pregnant. So, fill your menu with immune strengthening foods. Try adding orange juice to your diet, which contains vitamin C and can strengthen your immune system.
- Try to nap whenever you can.
[ Read: Hot Water During Pregnancy ]
When To See A Doctor:
A dry cough is harmless in most cases. But do talk to your doctor if you notice any of the following symptoms:
- A cough that refuses to go away
- Nausea that comes with coughing
The best you can do is head to the doctor when you first start coughing. Do not wait for your symptoms to get worse before you seek help. But don’t worry, the chances are high that your coughing bouts are just a passing phase, another test before you get your ultimate reward!
Do you know of any other remedy for treating a dry cough? Do share with us in the comments section below!
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