3

votes

Please, do you have a paleo solution to a persistent cough during pregnancy?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created July 16, 2012 at 4:51 AM

I'm 14 weeks pregnant and caught a bad cold while at a wedding last month (4 other people on our table also caught it) and while I recovered from the cold within a week, I developed a bad cough that, almost 4 weeks on, is still hanging around. All the other people who got sick are 100% better, it's just me that is stuck with a cough (although I do have a tendency to keep coughs around for a while when I do get them). It started out chesty and congested and frequent, now it's dry and infrequent, but still shows up at least a few times a day.

I can't do any of the standard lemon/ginger/honey in warm water because that makes me nauseous. I have been drinking chicken broth and getting as much rest as I can. I sometimes suck on butter-menthol-honey drops but I don't think they do anything.

Is there anything else I can try?

I have a meeting with my obstetrician next week so if I'm not better by then I'll ask her about medicine that is safe to take during pregnancy, but would obviously prefer an all-natural solution!

Bb3d1772b28c02da2426e40dfcb533f5

(5381)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

Opium is an all natural cough suppresent, but probably not ideal given you are pregnant :P However, you could try sucking on ice, if your throat is inflammed.

B4a2c2c619b1a5488b7196586a815354

(60)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Happy Now - fair enough :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:01 PM

A minus is not to be taken personally, which I believe you have done. 3 days of megadosing vitamin C (5000 i.u./day) seemingly induced a miscarriage in a colleague of my nutritionist at 12 weeks pregnant when she had bronchitis (I realize it may have been a coincidence, but it may have not, I trust the intuition and self-reporting by women who have experienced this if only to be on the safe side myself). This has not been tested extensively in humans because it would be unethical to do so, so lack of credible published papers on the subject doesn't shed too much light on the matter.

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Yes to this - my area is currently having a whooping cough epidemic. I suspect you'd know if that was you, but then again, I had it, and a friend had it, and our symptoms did differ. Ask about the TDAP shot while you're at the doc, and if pertussis is in your area?

B4a2c2c619b1a5488b7196586a815354

(60)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:57 AM

Happy Now - kindly show me the evidence that indicates a proven link otherwise please remove the minus next to my comment. My reading of the literature here and elsewhere indicates this is a myth/urban legend: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/can-vitamin-c-induce-abortion/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:31 AM

This would be great advice for the population at large, but megadoses of vitamin C can cause miscarriage though, so I would strongly advise against this to someone who is pregnant, or at least in the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:28 AM

Large doses of vitamin C can cause miscarriage though, so I'm not sure I'd recommend that to someone early in a pregnancy.

07842fbab8730403ef284e655083fe0e

(218)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Well, the original source of this recommended using hot water but I preferred to drink it fast, which was easier with warm. Cold might also work, but ymmv.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Yep got tested for D, will get the results at my OB appointment next week.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Unfortunately warm water has made me nauseous throughout pregnancy so far.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Eating lots of protein in early pregnancy isn't recommended, I'd stick to the fat side of this recommendation.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:53 AM

I hope something works, long lasting coughs are a bit maddening.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:27 AM

Wow thanks for all your suggestions!

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 16, 2012
at 05:42 AM

Glad to hear it's not so unusual. Yes I'm taking cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil but maybe I should increase my dose. Trying to get Vit D from sunshine but it's winter here and strong sun is hard to find. I'll add more butter and oils to things. Thanks!

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8 Answers

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1
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2012
at 05:58 AM

Ah man, that sucks! It does generally take longer to get over things when pregnant, but it is a good idea to check with your doctor just to make sure you haven't developed a secondary bacterial infection.

With the dry cough now, a humidifier in your room at night could help.

If it has an itchy in the throat component, gargling with salt water can help, but if you have an over-reactive gag reflex during pregnancy like I do, that might be easier said than done.

If a bit of postnasal drip is keeping the cough going (my current problem at 16 weeks pregnant), using a neti pot or using a sinus rinse bottle can help immensely.

I don't know if this is playing into it, but I find myself more prone to reflux after having a cough, and even more so when pregnant, so a bit of stomach acid making its way up could also aggravate a cough beyond the length of an illness. If you think that might be a part of it, sleeping propped up on a few extra pillows can help until the tissues heal and the cough dies down.

I don't think I've ever completely kicked a cough with acupuncture, but my symptoms have quieted down quite a lot for 3-4 days after treatments, so acupuncture might buy you a bit of peace if nothing else seems to be working.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:53 AM

I hope something works, long lasting coughs are a bit maddening.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:27 AM

Wow thanks for all your suggestions!

2
6498694060d879a7960b35913539b75f

(1307)

on July 16, 2012
at 05:35 AM

I had similar issues during my pregnancy. When I'm not PG, I get over things very quickly, if I even get sick at all. But during pregnancy, your immune system is compromised. Your body is concentrating on the baby's growth, and you get whatever's left over, so to speak. If I were you, I would up your vitamin D intake (and sunshine!) and possibly take some more cod liver oil (are you taking this?). Add more grass-fed butter to everything. All of this helped me to a certain extent.

But to be honest, the annoying cough didn't completely go away until after I had the baby. Then my immune system was able to fully focus on me.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 16, 2012
at 05:42 AM

Glad to hear it's not so unusual. Yes I'm taking cod liver oil and high vitamin butter oil but maybe I should increase my dose. Trying to get Vit D from sunshine but it's winter here and strong sun is hard to find. I'll add more butter and oils to things. Thanks!

1
B4a2c2c619b1a5488b7196586a815354

on July 17, 2012
at 04:00 AM

For me, large doses of Vitamin C eliminated a recent cough that wouldn't go away. There is talk of a link between megadoses of Vitamin C and miscarriages so you probably want to keep the dosage and frequency on the low end of the spectrum while pregnant to be safe. This web site says otherwise but still probably a smart idea to be cautious: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/can-vitamin-c-induce-abortion/

I like Sundown Naturals brand. Here are the exact ones I used - might be able to find them @CVS or other local convenience stores: http://www.sundownnaturals.com/PRODUCT/045064

Read section 2 here: http://www.doctoryourself.com/coughing.html

More info. here: http://beyondvaccination.com/showthread.php?349-Got-whooping-cough-The-symptoms-Vitamin-C-and-general-management.

And here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12587963

And lastly: http://www.google.com/search?q=vitamin+c+mega+dosing&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

And on a related note, this is very interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vTXSTGGRvKY

B4a2c2c619b1a5488b7196586a815354

(60)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:09 PM

Happy Now - fair enough :)

B4a2c2c619b1a5488b7196586a815354

(60)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:57 AM

Happy Now - kindly show me the evidence that indicates a proven link otherwise please remove the minus next to my comment. My reading of the literature here and elsewhere indicates this is a myth/urban legend: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/index.php/can-vitamin-c-induce-abortion/

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:31 AM

This would be great advice for the population at large, but megadoses of vitamin C can cause miscarriage though, so I would strongly advise against this to someone who is pregnant, or at least in the first 24 weeks of a pregnancy.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 05:28 AM

Large doses of vitamin C can cause miscarriage though, so I'm not sure I'd recommend that to someone early in a pregnancy.

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 17, 2012
at 06:01 PM

A minus is not to be taken personally, which I believe you have done. 3 days of megadosing vitamin C (5000 i.u./day) seemingly induced a miscarriage in a colleague of my nutritionist at 12 weeks pregnant when she had bronchitis (I realize it may have been a coincidence, but it may have not, I trust the intuition and self-reporting by women who have experienced this if only to be on the safe side myself). This has not been tested extensively in humans because it would be unethical to do so, so lack of credible published papers on the subject doesn't shed too much light on the matter.

1
88a669ef87f8138d6bbfbdace533a482

on July 17, 2012
at 12:10 AM

I read an interesting article about hospice care in the New Yorker three years ago--the story began with a pregnant woman being diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Of course chances are infinitesimal that you have lung cancer, but don't suffer while you blame everything on pregnancy, either. Four weeks is a long time for anyone to go with a persistent cough. Glad to hear you're going to the doctor soon.

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/08/02/100802fa_fact_gawande

D5d982a898721d3392c85f951d0bf0aa

(2417)

on July 17, 2012
at 02:44 PM

Yes to this - my area is currently having a whooping cough epidemic. I suspect you'd know if that was you, but then again, I had it, and a friend had it, and our symptoms did differ. Ask about the TDAP shot while you're at the doc, and if pertussis is in your area?

1
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on July 16, 2012
at 02:01 PM

Get your Vitamin D level tested! So many pregnant mamas I work with are deficient--I wrote a blog post on the topic:

http://www.sondrarose.com/vitamin-d-deficiency-pregnancy

Your OB may or may not know about the importance of D. It's taking awhile for the information to get out there. Here's a link to a recent study about its safety in pregnancy:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21706518

In the meantime, you can supplement 40,000 IUs/day for 2-3 days. It gives a boost to the immune system. Do not use CLO for this--use a separate D3 supplement!

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:53 AM

Yep got tested for D, will get the results at my OB appointment next week.

0
07842fbab8730403ef284e655083fe0e

(218)

on July 16, 2012
at 12:09 PM

I'm not sure if this would work for you, but when I last came down with the flu I treated my sore throat (for a change it didn't get as far as being a persistent cough) with about 1/4-to-1/2tsp of chili powder stirred into a cup of warm water whenever it started to bother me. I think I went through near 3tsp on the worst day, with no other ill effects.

Cbc1f37f2b79b079b0de479d5365a231

(605)

on July 17, 2012
at 12:52 AM

Unfortunately warm water has made me nauseous throughout pregnancy so far.

07842fbab8730403ef284e655083fe0e

(218)

on July 17, 2012
at 04:18 AM

Well, the original source of this recommended using hot water but I preferred to drink it fast, which was easier with warm. Cold might also work, but ymmv.

0
C0c839648b31512515daaffe8e4e9ad1

on July 16, 2012
at 10:09 AM

In addition, you could check out your diet. Make sure you are getting a lot of fat and protein and all your vitamins and minerals in your daily meals. Make sure you are eating whole foods. Aside from eating healthy, there is always the option of trying to eat an anti-inflammatory diet. If you include spices such as ginger, turmeric, curry, capscacin, just to name a few, those tend to be very anti-inflammatory and you could just put them on your food and then eat it. It may help if something is inflamed.

http://edibleevolution.blogspot.com/2009/06/anti-inflammatory-recipes-and-foods.html

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on July 16, 2012
at 06:33 PM

Eating lots of protein in early pregnancy isn't recommended, I'd stick to the fat side of this recommendation.

0
782d92f4127823bdfb2ddfcbcf961d0e

on July 16, 2012
at 05:43 AM

Almost all colds are caused by viruses. Generally, there is nothing you can do except treat the symptoms. The cough is usually the last symptom to go and it can last a long time after all the others clear up. The thing you want to check on though, is that you didn't get a secondary bacterial infection on top of what you had. If your symptoms don't improve check with your OB to get that ruled out. Otherwise, continue with your fluids--it will eventually go away. Good luck with your pregnancy and hope you feel better soon!

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