Cough drops during pregnancy provide some immediate relief to a dry and scratchy throat, but is it safe for mother and her baby?
Having sore throats and throat irritations are very common whether one is pregnant or not. Extreme weather conditions as well as other factors including pollution and stress also contribute to this condition.
The hard thing with being pregnant is that you just can’t take any form of drug or medication to ease your condition. You constantly need to think about your baby and take precaution as to the types of medications that you are exposing your child while still inside your womb.
The early development of your baby is particularly important since this is the time when the major organs inside the body are being formed. And exposure to harmful elements early on in a baby’s life can cause irreparable damages to their bodies physically and mentally.
If your have a minor cough or if your throat is dry, you can take cough drops to give you some relief. Cough drops can make you feel better, as it can reduce the itchiness of your throat. But still, you shouldn’t be consuming these medicated tablets like candy. Check the instructions on the package, as there’s usually a limit to the number of lozenges that you can take in a day. And since you are pregnant, the safe dosage should be less than the normal dosage for people who aren’t pregnant.
Can I Have Cough Drops While Pregnant? Answer: Yes
The Halls and Sucrets brands have been particularly known as safe for pregnant mothers. Sucking on 1 to 2 of these cough drops in a day is generally safe for your baby. As for other brands, you should check the packages to see if there are no harmful chemicals used in the production of the cough drops. Some candies and lozenges even carry a warning that it is not safe for pregnant women.
Ingredients in Cough Drops that Should be Avoided
You can’t be too careful with the things that you consume when you are pregnant. Your baby’s safety is always at risk, as there are a lot of chemicals that can hinder proper growth and development while still inside the womb. Treat cough drops as you would any typical medication and don’t just take any type carelessly. In fact, you should ask your doctor about the recommended brand of cough drops as well as the proper dosage for your condition.
Look for Pseudoephedrine in the ingredients. This component can cause your baby to have Gastroschisis which is a type of congenital defect of the intestines. Your baby is particularly susceptible to this condition during the first trimester of your pregnancy.
The Phenylephrine substance is also harmful for a developing fetus, as this constricts the blood vessels inside the mother’s body. It therefore restricts normal blood circulation which brings oxygen and other nutritional needs of a prenatal baby.
Iodine is also a dangerous ingredient for pregnant moms, and can be found in over the counter throat lozenges. This can damage an unborn child’s thyroid glands and it can be fatal for your baby. So always consult your doctor even for something that seems as innocuous as cough drops.
Safe Ingredients in Medicated Lozenges
Natural ingredients are generally considered safe for pregnant mothers. Honey is a cough suppressant and most cough drops have this ingredient. Those with lemon extracts are considered good too. These have a soothing effect on sore throat and lemons are also high in vitamin C. Those lozenges that have chamomile extracts are highly recommended to pregnant mommies too, as these contain antimicrobial properties that can suppress the growth of bacteria in the respiratory tract.
Some Safety Precautions in Taking Cough Drops
As much as possible, avoid taking medicated lozenges that contain peppermint. Although this ingredient will not hurt your baby, it can affect your milk production when breast feeding. You shouldn’t be sucking on cough drops as regular candies either, and this applies whether you are pregnant or not. In fact, you can stop sucking on a lozenge as soon as you start feeling better, you don’t have to finish it.
Menthol-flavored lozenges should be avoided too. Although this only presents minimal risks to pregnancy, there are still reported cases that menthol can cause contractions and lead to miscarriages and other birth complications.
Safe and Natural Methods to Alleviating Sore Throat
Going for natural ingredients is always the safest method when taking care of yourself and your prenatal baby. When suffering from throat irritations, you can try gargling on some water with salt, as this usually clears up the condition. You can also drink some decaffeinated hot tea mixed with honey.