Coughing Up a Storm In Your Third Trimester? Here Are the Best Tips and Tricks for Prevention and Relief

May 29, 2023
Nitha Girija Vallabhan – May 29, 2023
Coughing Up a Storm in Your Third Trimester Here Are the Best Tips and Tricks for Prevention and Relief copy

Hello soon-to-be mamas! Are you enjoying your journey of pregnancy? Yes, I know. Sailing through…

Hello soon-to-be mamas! Are you enjoying your journey of pregnancy? Yes, I know. Sailing through this stage is easier said than done. Coughing is one distressing issue that many women face during their third trimester. So why does coughing happen during the third trimester? Is it possible to effectively treat it? Can this coughing be prevented?

Today, we will discuss the causes of coughing during the third trimester, the risks associated with it, and how to prevent and treat this cough. Of course, I will also tell you when it is vital to seek medical help. In addition, I will offer some helpful tips to prevent the risk of a cough during this phase of your pregnancy.

What Causes Coughing During The Third Trimester of Pregnancy?

Your body goes through a lot of changes during pregnancy. And some of these changes can actually place you at a higher risk of developing a cough.

What causes coughing during third trimester of pregnancy

Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of cough during the third trimester of pregnancy:

Physiological Changes During Pregnancy

Your body experiences immense changes during the last trimester of pregnancy. Increased blood flow to the mucous membranes in the nose can lead to swelling and inflammation of nasal passages which in turn can cause chronic cough

Common Respiratory Infections During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is the time when the immunity of women tends to be compromised. This makes pregnant women highly susceptible to respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis. Coughing may be a symptom of these infections.

Allergies During Pregnancy

Several studies have shown that some women tend to have allergic outbreaks during pregnancy. If you have been affected by hay fever or any other issue triggered by allergens, chances are you may experience coughing as a result

Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

The way your food is digested undergoes a considerable change when you are pregnant. Food tends to move slower than usual through the digestive system. Moreover, pregnancy hormones have a way of relaxing the valves at the entrance of the stomach, leading to food traveling up the esophagus. All these issues can cause acid reflux and associated coughing in pregnant women.

Asthma During Pregnancy

Physiological changes during pregnancy coupled with the increasing demands on the respiratory system can make things worse for women who have asthma. A persistent cough is often one of the symptoms of asthma attacks that can be physically exhausting for pregnant women.

Risks of Coughing During The Third Trimester of Pregnancy

When you are heavily pregnant, coughing can be more distressing and annoying than usual. But did you know that coughing during the third trimester also carries risks for both the mother and the fetus?

For a mother-to-be, frequent coughing can strain the abdominal muscles and increase the risk of going into premature labor. Not to mention how difficult and physically overwhelming it can be when a cough refuses to leave you alone during the most critical trimester of your pregnancy.

Risks of coughing during third trimester of pregnancy

Have you noticed how coughing often leaves you gasping for breath? Now this may adversely affect the health of your baby. Extended episodes of coughing can lead to a drastic reduction of oxygen supply to the fetus and cause complications such as fetal distress.

Treating Cough During The Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Treating cough during third trimester of pregnancy

We clearly do not want to go through frequent coughing while pregnant. The good news is there are ways to safely and effectively treat cough without compromising the health of the mother or the baby. Here are some options you may explore to get relief from cough during the third trimester:

Natural Remedies

The first of these includes staying hydrated. If chest congestion is making it difficult to breathe, you may try using a vaporizer or a humidifier. Gargling with warm salt water is another natural remedy that helps soothe the throat and relieve that prickle that tends to trigger cough.


Sometimes, natural remedies may not provide the relief you expect. In such situations, your doctor may prescribe medications such as expectorants or cough suppressants that are safe to use during pregnancy.

Home Remedies

For many pregnant women, age-old remedies work wonders in suppressing cough. Try drinking warm tea with honey to soothe the throat and get relief from frequent coughing. Or you could take a pinch of turmeric powder mixed with a small spoonful of honey. This is another home remedy that works like a cough suppressant.

Although you have the option to choose from natural remedies, medications, and home remedies, make sure to consult with your doctor before you try anything.

Ways To Prevent Cough During The Third Trimester of Pregnancy

As they say, prevention is always better than cure. Remember that it is easier to prevent cough than attempt to treat it, especially at a time when your focus must be on completing the pregnancy period without any complications.

Ways to prevent cough during the third trimester of pregnancy

So here are a few tips to prevent coughing during the last trimester of your pregnancy:

keep Away From People Who Are Sick

As mentioned earlier, your immunity is not at its best during this time and you clearly do not want to catch infections.

Practice Good Hygiene

Wash your hands frequently and avoid touching door handles, stair railings, lift buttons, or handles of shopping carts that are used by hundreds of other people. If this cannot be completely avoided, keep a hand sanitizer with you and use it intermittently.

Use a Face Mask

Put on a face mask if you are stepping out into a public area. This will reduce your risk of contracting respiratory infections and protect you from dust and other allergens.

Watch What You Eat

If acid reflux is an issue, keep away from acidic or spicy food. Avoid heavy meals and choose smaller, more frequent meals and healthy snacks.

When To Seek Medical Attention

Coughing during your third trimester is usually normal. However, there are cases in which the cough may be an indication of something serious.

When to seek medical attention

Here’s when it would be a good idea to see a doctor:

  • If the coughing is persistent and rather severe, consult your doctor at once.
  • If there are any unusual symptoms that you are concerned about, make sure to inform your doctor.
  • If the cough is causing shortness of breath and making it hard to perform your daily tasks, it is time to seek medical attention.

While visiting your doctor for a cough during the third trimester of pregnancy, the doctor will evaluate your symptoms and perform a thorough physical examination. Sometimes, the doctor may recommend additional tests such as throat culture or chest X-rays. Finally, the doctor will provide a precise diagnosis and recommend the best course of treatment.

Final Word

As a mother-to-be, coughing during pregnancy can be a real pain. However, it is important to be aware of its causes, risks, prevention, and treatment.

Various reasons such as physiological changes, respiratory infections, allergies, or acid reflux may contribute to coughing during pregnancy’s third trimester. Since coughing can detrimentally affect the health of the mother and the fetus, it is essential to take precautions and seek medical attention if necessary.

Remember, as an expectant mother you need to be vigilant about your health and the health of your unborn baby as well. So take good care of yourself and your little one and do not hesitate to reach out for help. Enjoy your pregnancy!


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