If you are expecting a bundle of joy, it is essential to be mindful and aware of any bodily changes while taking the necessary steps to maintain your healthy immune system as well as that of your unborn child. One common symptom among pregnant women is coughing which cannot be ignored.


But why do pregnant women cough? There are various explanations, and it is essential to be aware of them.


Before we start our discussion on home remedies for cough during pregnancy, you can check out information on nausea in pregnancy and home remedies to help constipation here.


What Causes Cough During Pregnancy?

1. Common Cold Or Mild Upper Respiratory Illness:

While pregnant, your immune system experiences fluctuations which can leave you more vulnerable to viruses linked with the common cold. As a result of all the modifications going on in your body, it’s not unheard of for one to contract a minor respiratory disorder that may lead to persistent coughing.


2. Influenza Or Flu: 

Don’t underestimate the potential harm that influenza can inflict on you and your unborn baby – it’s not worth the misery! That is why safeguarding yourself from disease, particularly during seasonal flu, should be of utmost priority. Taking extra precautions now will ensure a healthy pregnancy for both you and your little one.


3. Whooping Cough (Or Pertussis):

Expectant mothers should never risk being exposed to whooping cough, otherwise known as pertussis. This powerful illness can have destructive implications for babies in the womb, hence it is imperative that parents take all necessary measures to ensure both their own and their unborn child’s health and safety.


4. Pregnancy Rhinitis (Or Hormonal Rhinitis):

As your body rapidly changes during pregnancy, you may experience Pregnancy Rhinitis – or Hormonal Rhinitis. This condition can be a nuisance and present itself with symptoms such as chest congestion, stuffy nose, sneezing, and even coughing due to post-nasal drip. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by it all; however, there are ways to help manage these symptoms naturally!


5. SARS-CoV-2 Infection:

One of the most concerning causes of coughing during pregnancy is a SARS-CoV-2 infection, commonly known as COVID-19. Pregnant women are considered to be at a higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and its symptoms can range from mild to severe.


Coughing is one of the most common symptoms of COVID-19, and it is important for pregnant women to seek medical attention if they experience a persistent cough or any other symptoms of the virus.


Cough, Sore Throat & Cold During Pregnancy 

Flu & Pregnancy

Pregnant individuals have an elevated risk of contracting influenza (flu), potentially leading to hospitalization and even endangering the unborn baby. Fortunately, by obtaining a flu shot while pregnant, mothers can shield both themselves and their infant from this dreaded illness; fever – a symptom linked with negative outcomes for babies – may be prevented through vaccination.


Furthermore, immunizing against the virus during pregnancy gives newborns antibodies in their first few months post-birth. To guard against the flu symptoms, it is essential to receive a reliable flu shot instead of relying on nasal spray. Research proves that these shots can reduce your risk of the virus by up to half and lower hospitalizations by 40%. [1]


Cough during pregnancy

Treating Runny Nose & Common Cold During Pregnancy

Although there are many over-the-counter (OTC) brands to treat coughs available, most contain similar medicinal ingredients, with up to five in some products.


The evidence-based information suggests no increased risk with short-term use, but pregnant women should read labels carefully and consult with pharmacists when necessary to ensure they are not taking unnecessary medicine to treat cough. [2]


Common symptoms of the common cold such as a cough, nasal stuffiness, discharge, sneezing, and sore throat irritation can be relieved by OTC medications.


Get the Whooping Cough Vaccine During Each Pregnancy

Whooping cough is a grave threat to infants, and the best way to keep them safe during their first months of life before they are eligible for vaccination at two months old is by ensuring pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine between weeks 27-36.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and maternal health providers strongly recommend this as it offers maximum protection against whooping dry cough. [3]


Vaccinating mother is a vital step in ensuring the health of their unborn babies. Studies have demonstrated that the optimal time to get vaccinated is during the early third trimester, as it offers an impressive 78% protection from whooping cough for infants under 2 months old. [3] However, if a mother delays her vaccination too long and her immunity decreases, she may not be able to pass on sufficient antibodies for protecting her child.


Allergic Rhinitis

Allergic rhinitis, otherwise known as hay fever, affects around one-fifth of Americans and incurs billions in losses each year. While it may appear to be nothing more than a mild nuisance, this medical issue impacts the nose’s capacity to fulfill its essential duties such as conditioning air, adding moisture, and trapping particles before they enter the lungs. Allergic rhinitis is an immune response to allergens, such as pollen and animal dander, which triggers the release of histamine and leukotrienes. This can cause a range of uncomfortable symptoms: an itchy nose that runs or is congested; sneezing; and itchy eyes.


Is it Safe to Use Cold and Cough Medicine While Pregnant?

As expecting mothers often search for OTC medications to relieve their symptoms, the lack of randomized controlled trials indicates that these drugs are mainly used based on case-control and cohort studies. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has sorted many over-the-counter medications into risk categories for use during pregnancy, but even so, your safest bet is still to chat with a healthcare expert before taking any medication while pregnant.


Although over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, cold medication, and gastrointestinal drugs are commonly used, it is essential to be aware of the potential risks and benefits posed by each one. Even so-called natural remedies like ginger for nausea should not be taken without first examining its safety or efficacy. Ultimately, your doctor needs to know about all OTC medicines you take so that a well-considered decision can be made on what’s best for both you and your baby.


What Types Of Cold And Cough Suppressant Medicine Are Safe For Pregnant Women?

If you’re expecting, rest assured that you can use over-the-counter cough suppressants without worrying about potential risks. Whether you’re struggling with an irritating cough or comforting a sore throat, some of the most trusted over-the-counter medications – like Tylenol (Acetaminophen), anesthetic lozenges, Codeine for pain relief, and Dextromethorphan found in Delsym and Vicks DayQuil – can offer helpful respite from your medical ailments.


home remedires for coughing pregnant woman

What are the Home Remedies for Coughing Pregnant Woman?

1. Stay Hydrated

Drinking plenty of water and staying hydrated is a crucial step toward overall wellness, especially during pregnancy. Hydration helps your body function optimally and ensures that all its systems are working efficiently. Drinking warm water in particular can be especially beneficial, as it can help soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing.


When pregnant, it is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet. Consuming plenty of water is a natural and effective way to combat coughing and other symptoms that may occur during pregnancy.


It is recommended to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day to stay hydrated and maintain a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, it is important to avoid drinks that are high in sugar or caffeine, as these can dehydrate the body and potentially harm the developing fetus.


By incorporating plenty of water into your daily routine, you can help support your body and promote overall wellness during pregnancy.


2. Gargle Saltwater

Gargling with warm salt water is a simple and inexpensive way to help protect against upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold or the flu. [4] The warm water helps to soothe sore throats, while the salt works as a natural germ-killer.


When salt is dissolved in water, it creates a saline solution that can effectively kill off bacteria and viruses. When you gargle with this solution, it helps to remove bacteria and other pathogens that can accumulate in the throat and lead to infection.


Gargling with warm salt water is not only an effective way to combat bacteria, but it also helps reduce inflammation and swelling in the throat, making breathing easier. Plus, breaking up mucus accumulation and decreasing coughing makes this remedy particularly helpful when dealing with colds or flu!


Furthermore, gargling regularly can help minimize your risk of developing more serious upper respiratory issues such as sinusitis or pneumonia. All-in-all regular use of warm salt water gargle will keep your throat healthy while reducing any potential infection risks.


3. Honey

Raw honey is an all-natural solution for combating colds and dry coughs. Its impressive antibacterial and antioxidant properties can help to soothe a sore throat while simultaneously improving the immune system, reducing coughing in turn.


This remedy becomes even more efficient when taken with hot water and lemon juice; heat from the former opens up airways making it easier to breathe while vitamin C provided by the latter bolsters immunity further still.


Nighttime coughing can be particularly disruptive, leading to loss of sleep and decreased energy levels. Therefore, incorporating raw honey into your daily routine can be especially beneficial for individuals suffering from a cold or dry cough.


Raw honey is also a more natural alternative to cough syrups, which often contain artificial ingredients and can cause side effects.


4. Hot, Non-Caffeinated Herbal Tea

Herbal teas taken in moderation are generally considered safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, there is a lack of data on the herbs. Always check with your doctor prior to drinking herbal teas as one could benefit a woman but may be unsafe for the other especially if they are allergic to the herb.


Chamomile tea for example, is known to have a calming effect, which can help promote sleep and prevent colds. By drinking non-caffeinated herbal remedies like chamomile, you can help clear out blocked sinus infections while also providing hydration to your mucous membranes. However, if you are allergic to chamomile, avoid this tea.


Rooibos tea is an antioxidant-rich beverage that reduces free radicals in your body and helps support cardiovascular wellness. When you’re feeling under the weather having this tea may provide some additional support for your well-being.


5. Take Vitamin Supplements

Vitamins and minerals play a crucial role in maintaining a healthy immune system. Vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc are essential nutrients that help boost immunity by providing essential nutrients to the body.


Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. It also plays a key role in supporting the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells, which help fight off infections and diseases. [5]


Vitamin D is a key player in the maintenance of strong bones and teeth, but it also has an immense effect on our immune system by helping to manufacture antimicrobial peptides. These vital compounds are what give us the power to fight off potentially harmful viruses or bacteria.


Zinc is another mineral that is important for a strong immune system. It plays a key role in the development and function of immune cells, such as T-cells and natural killer cells. Zinc also helps regulate the production of cytokines, which are signaling molecules that help coordinate the immune response.


To give your immune system the best opportunity to fend off diseases and infections, consider incorporating vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc into your daily dietary routine with nutritional supplements.


However, it’s necessary to keep in mind that these supplements are simply a supplement for an already healthy diet rich in essential nutrients; they should never replace sound nutrition as the cornerstone of good health.


6. Humidifiers

Humidifiers are an invaluable asset in fostering healthy breathing and soothing the effects of typical discomforts such as sore throats, sinus infections, and dry coughing. The humidity levels they add to a room can reduce inflammation in your throat and nose passages, making it easier to breathe while providing relief from any throat or respiratory issues you may have. [6]


Not only does a humidifier improve your respiratory system, but it can also do wonders for the health and appearance of your skin. The dry air indoors strips away essential oils and moisture from the skin, leading to itching, wrinkles, and an overall dull complexion.


By adding humidity back into the atmosphere with a humidifier you can replenish those nutrients that help keep your skin hydrated; reducing visible fine lines while promoting youthfulness in one’s complexion!


7. Avoid Throat and Lung Irritants

Expecting moms should be mindful of any air pollutants that may trigger a dry cough or make symptoms worse, such as secondhand smoke and strong fragrances.


Furthermore, staying hydrated and catching up on rest is key for helping your body naturally recover. However, if the symptoms remain after a few days, it is imperative to seek advice from a healthcare provider to choose the best course of action for your well-being and that of your baby.


8. Hot Chicken Soup

A hot bowl of chicken soup not only tastes delightful but also provides essential nutrients that invigorate the immune system. Filled with protein, vitamins, and minerals, this classic comfort food gives your body a boost to fight off infection attacking your body.


So if you’re searching for an effective home remedy that’s utterly natural–look no further than a delicious bowl of hot chicken soup!


9. Pineapple Juice

Pineapple juice is a natural alternative to self-medication for a sore throat. This sweet and tangy drink contains the enzyme bromelain which has been proven to reduce inflammation in the throat. [7]


This property makes it an effective remedy for sore throats, as well as other inflammation-related conditions. In addition, pineapple juice is also rich in vitamin C, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps to boost the immune system. By consuming pineapple juice, you can help your body fight off any infections or viruses that may be causing your cough or sore throat.


10. Turmeric

Turmeric is an invaluable spice with a myriad of uses, from adding flavor and color to Indian or Asian dishes to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, offers a host of health benefits such as helping relieve coughing and other ailments. [8]


People have used turmeric milk as a natural remedy for centuries due to its healing powers. To make this refreshment, all you need to do is mix turmeric with hot milk. Whether it’s relieving symptoms from a cold or just striving towards optimal wellness, adding turmeric can help soothe your sore throat.


11. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has been used for generations because of its wonderful health advantages. One of its most popular uses is to provide relief fromough.


A simple concoction of one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar, warm water, and honey can help soothe the throat while also aiding in clearing mucus buildup. The antimicrobial and antibacterial properties make it effective as a natural treatment for respiratory conditions like sore throats or congestion. [9]


Not only can apple cider vinegar offer relief from a pesky cough, but the vitamins B1, B2, and B6 along with acetic acid and citric acid make it an advantageous component for enhancing overall well-being.


These nutrients are known to control blood sugar levels while boosting insulin sensitivity – making it particularly beneficial for those suffering from type 2 diabetes. In addition to that, it’s antibacterial/antimicrobial properties act as natural remedies for skin-related issues and digestive problems alike!


coughing while pregnant doesn't hard the baby

Does Coughing During Pregnancy Harm the Baby?

When pregnant, coughing can feel anxiety-inducing for any mom-to-be. Fortunately, a cough is unlikely to cause harm to your baby and is usually nothing serious.


Nevertheless, it is critical to pay attention to the intensity of your cough and whether or not a high-grade fever has developed. Studies have indicated that managing a fever in the early weeks of pregnancy can reduce potential risks associated with birth defects like: [10]


  • Cleft Lip With Or Without Cleft Palate

Although a mere cough during pregnancy is generally harmless to your developing baby, it’s important to be mindful of any high-grade fever that may ensue. Studies have shown there may be an increased risk of certain congenital complications like cleft lip if you experience fevers while pregnant early on.


  • Anencephaly

Anencephaly is a horrifying birth defect in which an infant lacks significant portions of the brain and skull. The actual cause remains obscure, yet research suggests that it could be attributed to various elements such as genetic issues, viral or bacterial infections during pregnancy, exposure to certain chemicals as well as inadequate nutrition. [11]


  • Limb Reduction

Monitoring your cough and fever is critical if you are pregnant. Studies indicate that efficiently treating a high fever during the beginning of pregnancy can drastically reduce the odds of birth defects, like limb reduction. [12]


  • Spina Bifida

While spina bifida can be a daunting diagnosis, with physical and intellectual disabilities possible as a result of the condition, there is hope! Taking proactive steps during pregnancy has been proven to reduce the risk of spina bifida and other birth defects.


  • Encephalocele

Encephalocele is a troubling disorder that can cause intellectual and physical handicaps. Fortunately, you may be able to reduce the chances of its formation in your unborn child by eating nutritious meals with abundant folic acid content; this nutrient helps make sure appropriate neural development takes place.


  • Colonic Atresia/Stenosis

Colonic Atresia or Stenosis is a life-threatening medical condition in which the large intestine of an infant becomes partially or entirely blocked, potentially leading to devastating consequences for their wellbeing.


  • Bilateral Renal Agenesis/Hypoplasia

Bilateral Renal Agenesis/Hypoplasia is a condition in which the kidneys do not develop properly, and can cause severe medical issues if left untreated.


when to see doctor when home remedies for coughing during pregnancy doesn't seem to improve symptoms

When Should You See A Doctor?

Pregnancy is a beautiful time of life, yet it can also bring its own set of worries and concerns, especially when it comes to health. Although coughing during pregnancy may be disconcerting, with the correct attention and care you will soon have your dry cough under control!


To find respite from your symptoms, look towards home remedies such as hot baths and tea. Yet, if after two weeks you still experience difficulty or notice any further deterioration in your condition, reach out to a healthcare provider right away. Your doctor will evaluate the situation and determine the most suitable plan of action so that you can recuperate rapidly and securely.


Above all else, your health and the wellness of you and your developing baby are paramount. If something doesn’t feel right to you, don’t hesitate to get medical assistance immediately. With a bit of help from your doctor’s expertise, you’ll be back on course for an enjoyable pregnancy with optimal health!



[1] Mark Thompson et al, Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Preventing Influenza-associated Hospitalizations During Pregnancy: A Multi-country Retrospective Test Negative Design Study, 2010–2016, Clinical Infectious Diseases (2019)

[2] Aida Erebara et al, Treating the common cold during pregnancy, Can Fam Physician (2008)

[3] Daniel Dalcin, Tdap vaccination in pregnancy, CMAJ (2021)

[4] Kazunari Satomura, Prevention of upper respiratory tract infections by gargling: a randomized trial, Am J Prev Med (2005)

[5] Mariangela Rondanelli, Self-Care for Common Colds: The Pivotal Role of Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, and Echinacea in Three Main Immune Interactive Clusters (Physical Barriers, Innate and Adaptive Immunity) Involved during an Episode of Common Colds—Practical Advice on Dosages and on the Time to Take These Nutrients/Botanicals in order to Prevent or Treat Common Colds, Evid Based Complement Alternat Med (2018)

[6] Tae Hyeng Jung, The effect of the humidifier on sore throat and cough after thyroidectomy, Korean J Anesthesiol (2011)

[7] Vidhya Rathnavelu, Potential role of bromelain in clinical and therapeutic applications, Biomed Rep (2016)

[8] Susan J. Hewlings, Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health, Foods (2017)

[9] Darshna Yagnik, Antimicrobial activity of apple cider vinegar against Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Candida albicans; downregulating cytokine and microbial protein expression, Sci Rep (2018)

[10] Dorothy Kim Waller, Maternal report of fever from cold or flu during early pregnancy and the risk for noncardiac birth defects, National Birth Defects Prevention Study, 1997–2011, Birth Defects Res (2018)

[11] Melese Abebe, Risk Factors of Anencephaly: A Case–Control Study in Dessie Town, North East Ethiopia, Pediatric Health Med Ther (2021)

[12] Anna Materna-Kiryluk, Maternal Risk Factors Associated with Limb Reduction Defects: Data from the Polish Registry of Congenital Malformations (PRCM), Children (Basel) (2021)