15 Home Remedies for Cough during Pregnancy

15 Home Remedies for Cough During Pregnancy

Medically Reviewed By
Vandana Sharma (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Falling ill really takes the fun out of things, even pregnancy. The prospect of having to gulp down some tablets appeals to none, and during pregnancy, the side effects of medications have to be seriously accounted for. Getting a cold or cough during pregnancy is nothing to worry about since your baby is sufficiently protected from being affected by it. However, the changes occurring in your body might affect the working pace of your immune system and, thereby, exacerbate the symptoms of a cold. Common cold and cough medications, such as Tylenol, have been linked to increased risks for ADHD in children. Hence, taking medications for a cold during pregnancy has to be carefully proceeded.

Not to worry, there is, indeed, good scientific reasoning behind those elixirs that grandma always had ready to treat a cough and cold. So, if you are a mom-to-be and are suffering from a cough, read on to find some effective home remedies for cough during pregnancy and evacuate those nasty germs.

15 Simple Natural Remedies for Treating a Cough During Pregnancy

Coughing during pregnancy

1. Garlic

Garlic is an antioxidant and has been known to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. Allicin is a powerful antibacterial that is released after garlic is crushed and before it is heated. So, if you have a cold, eat some raw garlic. It might not be the best taste, but will surely help in decongestion of your chest. To help with the raw taste, chop the garlic, mix in some honey, and have it. It is recommended to have this at least two to three times a day.

Also Read: Dry Cough During Pregnancy

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

Having pasteurised apple cider vinegar makes the body more alkaline. A body that is more alkaline is more effective in fighting off viruses that cause colds and coughs. So, this tangy, tarty drink can naturally cure a cough during pregnancy. You can start drinking pasteurised apple cider vinegar as the first few symptoms of cold approach and continue to do so till they subside. Mix 1-2 tablespoons of pasteurised apple cider vinegar with some water or black tea, and have it two to three times a day.

3. Honey

Honey is a universally accepted remedy for cold and coughs. It acts as a cough suppressant, boosts the immune system, and soothes sore throats. It is also easily available and tasty. So, if you are looking up on how to cure cough at home during pregnancy, give honey a shot. It is a tried and tested remedy.

Also Read: Using Cough Drops During Pregnancy – Is It Safe?

4. Water

You already know this, but remaining hydrated is especially important if you want to get rid of that cold fast. During a cold and cough, the body loses more water than usual. Hence, drinking lots of warm water helps to prevent dehydration, and helps in decongestion, as well. Having clear broth or warm lemon water is also beneficial.

5. Lemon

Vitamin C is abundant in lemon, which is a natural antioxidant that also has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Lemons are rich in potassium, which is important for proper kidney functioning. Kidneys flush out waste matters from the body, which further helps in getting rid of cold. Lemon also alkalinizes the body and further helps in dealing with cold viruses.

6. Gargle With Salty Water

Gargling with warm water helps to reduce respiratory infections by 40%. Saline solutions can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less. It also loosens mucus and removes allergens, bacteria, and fungus from the throat. Do this two to three times a day to see results.

Also Read: Effective Home Remedies for Cold While Pregnant

7. Humidifier

Humidifiers increase the moisture content in the air and help to moisturise nasal, throat, and lung passages. This makes it easier for air to flow and gives relief from blocked noses and passages.

8. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an important antioxidant that keeps the body healthy and strong. Try to include more foods that are rich sources of this vitamin in your daily diet. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and tangerines, and green vegetables, tomatoes, and strawberries contain this vitamin.

9. Zinc

Most colds are caused by rhinovirus that thrives and multiplies in the nasal passage and throat. Zinc works by preventing the virus from multiplying. It may also stop it from lodging in the mucous membranes of the throat and nose. Lozenges and syrups containing zinc may have side effects on the health of pregnant women. Therefore, the safest way for zinc intake is through foods such as spinach, wheat germ oil, pumpkin seeds, lamb, and mutton.

Also Read: Bronchitis in Pregnancy

10. Ginger

Looking for home remedies for dry coughs during pregnancy? Then, ginger is a good option. Dry coughs are a real nuisance, as they do not produce any phlegm. In short, they do no good, unlike other coughs, which remove unwanted phlegm from our bodies. These coughs are caused due to viral infections and allergies. Ginger reduces phlegm and inflammation. The best way to have ginger is in the form of ginger tea. Bring two glasses of water to a boil, add two spoons of grated ginger, and steep for 15 minutes. Once it cools down a bit, add some honey and drink.

11. Warm Chicken Soup

A warm, steaming chicken soup is perfect for opening the nasal tract as well as relieving the sore throat. Since soup is good on hydration levels, it hydrates, as well as the chicken and vegetables’ nutrients elevate the immune system of a pregnant woman.

12. Herbal Tea

Herbal concoctions are one of the top traditional indian home remedies for cough during pregnancy to bring relief from stuffed nose and sore throat. A warm tea or green tea can be great in relieving you of cold and flu symptoms along with nausea and bloating issues. Chamomile is also a popular relaxing agent during the first and third trimesters and can be drunk during cold and cough to soothe the sore throat and soothe the body.

13. Homemade Cough Syrup

Homemade cough syrups are made of home ingredients like ginger, garlic, honey, tulsi (basil), etc. These concentrated syrups bring instant relief from cough. However, it is to be cautioned that these homemade syrup must be consumed in limited amounts as excess may lead to complications. For more safety, it is best to consult a doctor before consuming homemade cough syrups.

Also Read: Sore Throat During Pregnancy: Causes & Home Remedies

14. Steam Inhalation

Inhaling steam during flu and pregnancy can help clear nasal congestion and reduce coughing by loosening the mucus. Boil water, transfer it to a bowl, and inhale the steam with a towel over your head. Be careful with hot water. For more safety, having someone next to you to supervise while you inhale steam is an ideal way to do this.

15. Turmeric Milk

Drinking turmeric milk before bed can help build your immunity as well as soothe the throat. While milk soothes the sore and itchy throat, turmeric’s antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties fight against the pathogens causing cough.

Ways to Boost Your Immune System to Prevent a Cold and Cough

We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Prevention is Better Than Cure’, which is more true during pregnancy than ever. A developing baby relies on you for nourishment and care; therefore, strengthening your immune system is extremely important to keep your baby safe. Here’s how you can boost your immune system to prevent problems like colds, coughs, etc.

1. Take Multivitamins

Sometimes, diet may not work fast enough or even adequately to prevent diseases. In this case, multivitamins give you your daily dose of nutrition and strengthen your immune system.

2. Stay Hydrated

Water carries oxygen to your cells and helps you build muscle and stay strong. It also flushes out toxins from your body, which could otherwise affect your system. Hence, make sure to drink enough water throughout the day.

3. Maintain Proper Hygiene

One of the main ways to strengthen your immune system is by keeping your hands clean. Our hands carry the most bacteria, which we are more likely to ingest when eating, cooking, or touching veggies and fruits. Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly, with soap and water, after touching public surfaces, coughing, sneezing, etc.

4. Vaccination

Vaccination against whooping cough during pregnancy is recommended by experts worldwide. It is a serious disease that can be deadly for babies. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), pregnant women must receive Tdap vaccination during the 27th through 36th week of each pregnancy, preferably during the earlier part of this time period. Tdap vaccination in the in the third trimester of pregnancy build immunity that crosses the placents and protects the foetus from being infected in the intital months of life until vaccinated. Pregnant women are advised to get vaccinated with Tdap vaccine every pregnancy and not before pregnancy.


1. Can Coughing Harm Your Unborn Baby?

A normal cough during pregnancy is not a big issue of concern and usually causes fatigue. Ordinary cough, thus, does not harm an unborn baby. However, as per research, maternal high-grade fever accompanying cold and flu in the initials weeks of pregnancy may have an impact on the congenital abilities of the baby in the womb, such as cleft lip, Spina bifida, anencephaly, limb reduction, etc.

2. How Long Does Cough Last in Pregnancy?

While the symptoms of a cold lasts about a week, the cough can extend upto three weeks.

Cold and cough are unpleasant but can be effectively treated at home. Keep away from over-the-counter medicines. Do seek a physician’s advice if your illness escalates.


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2. John. L. J, Shantakumari. N; Herbal Medicines Use During Pregnancy: A Review from the Middle East; Oman Medical Journal; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4561638/; July 2015

3. Immunization in Pregnancy and Postpartum; American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM); https://www.midwife.org/ACNM/files/ACNMLibraryData/UPLOADFILENAME/000000000289/Immunization-in-Pregnancy-and-Postpartum-May-2014.pdf; May 2014

4. Waller. D. K, Hashmi. S. S, Hoyt. A. T, et al.; National Birth Defects Prevention Study. 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.; PubMed Central; https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5831519/; March 2018

5. Update on Immunization and Pregnancy: Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertussis Vaccination; ACOG; https://www.acog.org/clinical/clinical-guidance/committee-opinion/articles/2017/09/update-on-immunization-and-pregnancy-tetanus-diphtheria-and-pertussis-vaccination; September 2017

6. Get a Whooping Cough Vaccine During Each Pregnancy; CDC; https://www.cdc.gov/pertussis/pregnant/mom/get-vaccinated.html

7. Which over-the-counter cold medications are safe during pregnancy?; UT Southwestern Medical Center; https://utswmed.org/medblog/otc-cold-medication-safe-pregnancy/; January 2018

8. Common cold; Mount Sinai; https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/condition/common-cold

Also Read: 

Effective Morning Sickness Home Remedies
Home Remedies for Vomiting during Pregnancy
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Best Home Remedies for Constipation while Pregnant

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