Common colds and coughs are among the most common infections everyone has encountered during their lifetime. Wait for the season to change, and you will see every third person around you struggling with a cough and cold. It becomes more of a problem when it starts affecting your routine.
Now imagine putting yourself in the position of a pregnant woman suffering from the same situation. It becomes arduous for her to deal with the cough and carry a child in her womb, and she goes through various phases of irritability, disposition, exhaustion, and whatnot.
When you get a cough, you randomly pop up some pills for your cough to get better, but this can’t be an option for a pregnant woman. Pregnant females can not take over-the-counter medicines as they are more significant risks for their babies to be affected by those medications.
So to solve this problem, what can be the safest option other than HOME REMEDIES, as they are equally effective with no side effects, unlike our medications?
CAUSES FOR COUGH IN PREGNANCY
During pregnancy, there is an extra load on the body’s immune system to protect the mother and the baby during pregnancy. A nutritious and immunity-rich diet is required for the immune system to fight such infections adequately. If you lack sufficient healthy foods or do not sleep properly, your immunity may reduce, exposing you to various conditions and allergies.
There can’t be a definitive cause for cough in pregnancy as various reasons can come up for it. Out of these, the most common are :
- Gastroesophageal reflux: The backward movement of your food content from your stomach back into the food pipe is amongst the most typical causes of dry cough in pregnancy.
- High estrogen levels: During pregnancy, the levels of estrogen increase. This contributes to a persistent dry cough.
- Allergies: Most dry coughs during pregnancy are due to allergic reactions to weather, food, or certain products because your body’s compromised state faces difficulty adapting to the changing environment.
- Bronchial asthma
- Bronchitis: It is the inflammation of the bronchioles that may result from respiratory viral infections during pregnancy. Immunity is compromised during pregnancy, exposing pregnant women to respiratory conditions such as colds and bronchitis.
WHICH HOME REMEDIES TO OPT FOR COUGH DURING PREGNANCY?
During the pregnancy phase, the compromised immune status of the female makes her more prone to infections and allergies; the apparent reasons for it could be improper nutrition, inadequate sleep, and lack of physical activities.
So eventually, home remedies for coughs must include eating a healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals such as zinc. The mother should focus on getting quality sleep and indulging in physical exercises like yoga.
Here are some remedies which might be fruitful for you :
- Stay hydrated: It is essential to stay hydrated for both your and your baby’s health. Staying hydrated helps dilute secretions, thin out mucus, and reduce congestion. How can you achieve this? Aim to drink at least 8-12 cups of water a day. Opt for food that provides hydration and nutrition, like vegetable soups, juices, and broth.
- Take prenatal vitamins: These are your daily pills packed with immune-boosting ingredients like vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, iron, selenium, and zinc. You can get plenty of these by having carrots, strawberries, cantaloupes, bell peppers, cooked spinach, lentils, etc.
- Incorporate Vitamin C-rich food in your diet: Foods rich in vitamin C boost your immunity and make your body capable of fighting infections. Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, and grapefruit are rich in vitamin C.
- Honey is an ingredient you will find in many remedies because of its innumerable properties. It acts as a cough suppressant, boosts the immune system, and soothes sore throats. It is a perfect alternative for antibiotics in treating respiratory infections like a cough. Honey can be given in various ways: It can be dissolved in lukewarm water or prepared along with basil leaves, which have multiple therapeutic properties.
- Gargle with salt and lukewarm water: A sore throat and cough can be a task, especially during pregnancy. This is a remedy that will give you miraculous results. While gargling, you must ensure that water reaches your throat. Salt in water is a magnet that pulls out the infectious microorganisms from your tissues and flushes them out. Do it twice or thrice daily for good results.
- Raw garlic: Eating 2-3 cloves at least 2-3 times a day will relieve cough as it is an antioxidant with antiviral and antibacterial properties and causes chest decongestion.
- Avoid heavy meals: Avoid gulping your food all at once. Instead, split your meals into smaller portions so you can have them multiple times daily. This will help prevent acid reflux, one of the causes of cough.
- Lemon and black pepper: To reduce the discomfort from coughing in pregnancy, try sucking a lemon slice with a sprinkle of black pepper powder.
- Ginger: It has been used as a herbal remedy for centuries to treat numerous ailments, such as colds, sore throat, and nausea. It is considered an antibacterial, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant. How to consume ginger? Try chewing a small piece of ginger sprinkled with sea salt two to three times daily or squeeze some ginger juice in honey and take 1-2 tablespoons of it twice daily.
- Get some quality sleep: Proper sleep is mandatory for your body to function well. To sleep well, you must ensure that you sleep either on your side or slightly alleviate your head up. This position will prevent your acid reflux and ease your breathing process respectively.
- Turmeric: Turmeric’s principal active ingredient is curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory, and strong antioxidant. Add turmeric to hot milk and some crushed black pepper, or gargle with turmeric dissolved in warm water.
- Apple cider vinegar: It contains good bacteria to help fight infections and alkalinizes the body creating a harsh environment for viruses to thrive.
- Regular exercise: it improves your immunity and increases your body’s overall blood circulation.
- Use a humidifier.
WHEN TO CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR?
Cough and cold usually last for 7-10 days, and the condition eventually worsens. But if your cough is not resolving and your condition is deteriorating, it is a sign to consult your doctor.
The symptoms can be :
- Fever (temperature more than 100.4 F)
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe vomiting
However, if we see, then cough and the common cold are not infections to be worried about. They take some time and resolve on their own, but these remedies help you in several ways to get relief from such symptoms and follow a better routine.