Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can excessive coughing harm an unborn baby?"
I'm 32 years old, and I'm five months pregnant. Recently, I've had a strong, persistent, dry cough. I'm worried that all of this coughing is bad for the baby. Is this a real danger, or am I overreacting?
Anytime you have a question about whether something will harm your baby, you should always ask your OBGYN. They have heard, and answered just about any question you could come up with. The answer in this case, is almost certainly not. Inside your uterus, your baby is lying snug in a pool of fluid known as amniotic fluid. This fluid acts as a shock absorber for your baby so that when you cough, the baby is protected. However, that is not to say that babies are immune to trauma. The uterus and amniotic fluid are only a cushion. Any trauma to your belly can harm that baby and so you should be careful when going up and down steps, or on slippery side walks. Coughing, even if excessive, likely won't harm your baby, though I would run it by your OBGYN to get his, or her opinion. While you're there, you can ask for a prescription for baby friendly cough medicine to help with the cough, or get treated for whatever is causing your cough. I should also note that if your cough is caused by cigarette smoke, you should avoid exposure because that can harm your baby. Good luck.
Need more info?See an obgyn today
Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.