What to do when pregnant with a cough

Herbal remedies are popular with many people who want to prevent colds and boost their immunity. If you want to take any decongestant medicines while you’re pregnant, always ask your pharmacist or doctor first. Many cold remedies that you can buy over the counter contain a combination of ingredients – including a decongestant – so always ask for professional advice before taking them while you are pregnant (NHS 2012b).
Join now to receive free weekly newsletters tracking your baby’s development and yours throughout your pregnancy. If you’re not sure, see your doctor quickly, because flu in pregnancy can be harmful for you and your baby.

People with a cold should catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue, throw it away, and wash their hands. Take it easy, rest when you feel tired, and drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated. There is a small risk that taking some of these medicines during pregnancy could be harmful for your baby.
Follow the dosage instructions on the packet and as with all medicines when you are pregnant, take it for the shortest amount of time possible. 17.5 weeks pregnant and after weeks off work with hyperemesis, I started back to work last week and now dosed with the cold.

With certain decongestants, medical studies have suggested a link with heart, ear or stomach defects (BNF 2014, Mosley 2013, NHS 2013d, OTIS 2014, Yau 2013). Although it's unclear how effective cough medicines are (Smith 2012), you could try a simple one that is based on glycerine.
If you want to try a cough syrup or lozenge, ask your pharmacist to recommend one that is safe while you’re pregnant.

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