How to Treat a Cough During Pregnancy
Having to handle a cough during pregnancy seems like an unfair card to be dealt considering all the things that your body is currently going through, but alas that is life! The real issue is trying to find ways to sooth a cough without exposing your baby to any undue risk. In times like this when most over the counter medicines are considered a bit “no-no,” many women find themselves turning to natural remedies for ailments that they normally might not give a second thought about.
If you’ve had enough of dealing with a cough during pregnancy and you’re game for trying a more natural approach then give the following tips a try!
Garlic and Honey Cough Syrup
Your nose is probably wrinkled in disgust but this is a remedy that has been used for thousands of years to treat a dry, irritating cough as well as digestive upset and even the bacterial infections. Garlic has antiseptic, antifungal, and antibacterial properties which can come in handy to fight off any organisms that may be causing your cough in the first place. The honey is an excellent protective coating for the tissues of your esophagus that are probably raw and sore from coughing. The honey can even temporarily protect your throat from the ticklish trigger that sets off coughing fits.
To make this cough syrup really potent, you ideally want to give yourself about two weeks for the mixture to cure. Unless you’re reading this to gather information as a precautionary measure, you probably don’t have two weeks’ time to wait. In a pinch the mixture will work with a 24 hour cure time. To make this concoction you will need an empty quart jar with an air-tight lid, about half a pound of peeled and chopped garlic, and enough honey to fill the jar. This seems like a lot but you can take it on an as-needed basis and keep it in the fridge for future use. All you need to do is place the garlic in the bottom of the jar and fill the rest of the jar up with honey. Seal the lid and place the jar in the fridge for at least 24 hours. To administer this medicine, you simply need to take a spoonful right after waking up. This should be strong enough to relieve your symptoms for at least a few hours, at which time you can always take another spoonful.
Hot Tea with Lemon and Honey
Hot tea is a very comforting drink to many. When you are sick or suffering from a cough, the mere inhalation of the steam from a cup of tea can be a soothing act—and it’s not just in your head. The warm moisture released from the tea as you go in for a drink can actually moisten the dried and irritated tissues in your throat and chest. If you are able to add honey and lemon to your tea then definitely take advantage of their benefits! Lemon is proven to cut through and loosen excessive mucous which can be a likely cause behind a cough during pregnancy. If you feel like the mucous is there in your chest or throat but you can’t manage to bring it up regardless of how much you cough, then lemon is definitely the way to go. Use honey as a sweetener and also as a protective, moisturizing barrier for the tissues in your throat which are probably already a little damaged, or at the least a bit irritated from coughing spells. Avoid spicy teas like chai, as they can be too bold for a sensitive throat and trigger further coughing.
Humidity is a great way to lubricate your airways and suppress a dry cough. In fact, too much exposure to air with low moisture could be the culprit behind your cough in the first place. This is an especially likely scenario if it’s winter as most heating agents like central air or wood stoves dry out the air at an incredibly fast rate. Try running a warm shower for yourself—but don’t let the water get too hot or you will risk raising your body temperature too much which could affect the baby. Take your time in the shower and take plenty of deep breaths. The steam from the shower is the real key to soothing the irritation in your airways and replenishing the moisture there. Try this approach each morning for a few days to see if it has any affect on your cough.
If you find a steamy shower to be helpful but the results don’t seem to last long enough then you might want to consider purchasing an electric humidifier. These machines work well enough to moisten the air in a single medium-sized room and are available in hot mist or cool mist. Most women suffering from a cough during pregnancy find that a cool mist humidifier is a bit more refreshing as the warm mist humidifiers could possibly exacerbate mom-to-be’s tendency to become over-warm and might also encourage swelling in the hands and feet.
If these remedies do not appeal to you—don’t give up! There are many other natural remedies that can be used, some of which you may even find at your local pharmacy. Many cough lozenges today boast an all-natural ingredients list so you may even find a bit of comfort in using an old fashioned cough drop!