ZocdocAnswersIs it OK for pregnant women to cough a lot?

Question

Is it OK for pregnant women to cough a lot?

My wife is pregnant with our third child, and she's now in her third trimester. Currently, she's being bothered my some sort of indoor allergy that has her coughing non-stop. Does this represent a danger to the child? I don't want to alarm my wife with these thoughts, but if there's a danger we should deal with it.

Answer

Pregnancy can be complicated by numerous conditions which can impact the health of the mother or the baby. Physician who would be qualified to discuss this condition with you include your family medicine physician or your OB/GYN physician. Pregnant women can develop persistent cough for many reasons. Most commonly, cough is caused by a simple viral infection, such as a cold virus, and will get better with time. When pregnant women cough persistently, they often worry that this coughing will affect the baby. However, this is unlikely to be the case. The baby is well protected from noises, vibrations, and the pressure caused by coughing by the amniotic fluid which acts as a shock absorber. However, persistent coughing can be a sign of a more serious medical problem, such as asthma, allergies, or a lung infection. By adversely affecting the health of the mother, these conditions may also affect the health of the baby. Therefore, any persistent health condition that a pregnant woman experiences should be promptly evaluated by a physician. As always, diagnosis and management of this specific condition will require physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment with your family medicine doctor or your OB/GYN doctor is strongly recommended.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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