If you’re struggling with a cough, you may want to know if you can take cough drops while pregnant. Read on for the details.
Getting a cough while you’re pregnant is more than a little frustrating.
You’re already dealing with the aches and discomforts of pregnancy, and now something is irritating your airways?
This shouldn’t be allowed.
So, can you have cough drops while pregnant?
We’ll take you through the details. (Spoiler alert: this tale has a positive ending.)
In this article: 📝
- Are cough drops safe for pregnancy?
- What cough drops are safe during pregnancy?
- What can I take other than cough drops during pregnancy?
Are cough drops safe for pregnancy?
When you’re pregnant, your immune system goes through some big changes.
This can make you more susceptible to infections and allergies, including those that cause you to cough.
Coughing is annoying at the best of times, but when you add this to the physical demands of pregnancy, it can be really uncomfortable, particularly in your abdominal area.
And all of this can throw another wrench in the works of an already disrupted sleep schedule.
Some of your pregnancy symptoms may also be making matters worse.
If you are experiencing gastroesophageal reflux and heartburn — like about 51% of pregnant women — it could aggravate your cough.
So what can you do? While you might have previously popped a cough drop, pregnancy may make you pause.
The good news is that you can breathe easy.
Most cough drops are generally considered safe during pregnancy.
And in the majority of cases, they might be a preferable option to medications like aspirin and decongestants.
But, like any medication that you take during your pregnancy, it’s important to check in with your doctor first.
That’s so they can see that nothing else is up and confirm that the specific drops you’d like to take are safe for your particular pregnancy.
What cough drops are safe during pregnancy?
And now, onto the next question: What cough drops can I take while pregnant?
We’ll take you through the most common varieties.
Are menthol cough drops OK while pregnant?
A key ingredient in cough drops is menthol, a chemical found in mint plants or produced synthetically.
This study showed that menthol could effectively prevent coughs, reduce that tickling feeling, and open up airways.
So what about menthol and pregnancy? Is that a safe combination?
There are no human studies on the use of menthol in pregnancy, so we don’t know for sure.
But the concentration of menthol in cough drops is low and doesn’t appear to pose a danger.
Are Halls cough drops safe for pregnancy?
Halls is a popular brand that offers drops that relieve coughs and sore throats.
These products come in various flavors, including strawberry, tropical fruit, honey and lemon, and extra strength menthol.
While they have different flavors, all these drops have menthol as their active ingredient.
The amount of menthol varies from product to product.
For example, the tropical fruit flavor has 2.7 mg of menthol per drop, while the extra strength option has 20 mg of menthol.
So, if you want to be extra cautious, it may help to opt for products with a lower concentration of menthol.
Other ingredients that appear in some cough drops are eucalyptus and lemon oil.
As with menthol, the effect of these ingredients on pregnancy is not well studied, but from what we know they currently seem to do more good than harm, as long as you take them in moderation.
In fact, research suggests that aromatherapy with lemon and peppermint essential oils may help with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.
What can I take other than cough drops during pregnancy?
Other methods you can try to keep your cough at bay are:
- Indulge in a sweet honey treat. A spoonful goes a long way.
- Sip on water to keep yourself hydrated. (This is a good idea during pregnancy anyway. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists recommends drinking 8 to 12 glasses a day.)
- Steam yourself over a basin of water. Just don’t get too hot for too long, as this can put you and your baby at risk.
- Hug your pillow when you cough. If you have a pregnancy pillow in your life, even better. Hugging it will help relieve some of the pressure in your belly region.
If your cough persists for more than a few days, or if you cough up blood or have difficulty breathing, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
It’s also a good idea to get yourself checked out if you’re experiencing any flu-like symptoms, such as a fever, body aches, and chills.
And if you’d like to help stave off a cough, it is safe to get the flu shot while pregnant. The CDC recommends it.
You can also get the whooping cough vaccine early in your third trimester.
The really good news is you’ll pass on the antibodies in these vaccines to your baby, protecting them from getting sick in their first few months of life.
All the best, mama. Wishing you a speedy recovery.
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