Pregnancy is a time when women need to be extra careful about their health. This is because there is already an extra demand on their body when it comes to nutrition and oxygen. So in this state, contracting any kind of disease would put both the mother and the child at an added risk. One common condition that many expectant mothers complain about is a sore throat. One needs to be quite careful while taking medication for cold and sore throat during a pregnancy. This is because there are many medications that are contraindicated during pregnancy.
- Uvulitis (inflammation of uvula)
- Strep throat
- Tonsillitis (infection of the tonsils)
- Laryngitis (infection of the voice box)
- Common cold
- Mononucleosis (mono or also called 'the kissing disease')
- Pet dander
Points to Remember:
Although the title talks exclusively about sore throat, it is important to understand the difference between a sore throat and a strep throat to get a better treatment.
Strep Throat: Strep throat is treated well with antibiotics. Streptococcus is a bacterium, which causes strep throat and it is highly responsive to penicillin and cephalosporin antibiotics. To identify a strep throat, you need to get in touch with your doctor if there are symptoms like fever, white bumps on the tonsils and swollen neck glands. He/she will give you a strep test to see whether it's actually a strep throat or not.
Sore Throat: Unlike the strep throat, sore throat is a result of viral infection and is accompanied by a runny nose, sneezing and sometimes a little fever. It can be treated with home remedies like a steam bath, salt water gargling and natural expectorants.
- Prepare tea as usual (make sure that it's decaf). Add one teaspoon of lemon juice and one teaspoon of honey. Mix together and sip it while it's hot. Make sure that it's not too hot, as this will only irritate the throat.
- Take water in a kettle and bring to a boil. Place ginger slices in the water and prepare tea with this water as usual. Add one teaspoon of lemon juice to this mixture and sip while hot. This will help to get rid of a cold as well.
- Take some warm water and add salt to it. Gargle with this solution, but be sure not to swallow it. The salinity in the mixture irritates the bacteria and alters their cellular osmotic balance.
- Herbs like basil leaves also help when it comes to sore throat in a pregnancy. Take a kettle full of water and add 15-20 crushed basil leaves to it. Bring this solution to a boil, then strain and let it cool for a while. You can gargle with this solution or can even drink it.
- Boil some water and add a spoonful of coarsely powdered cinnamon to it. You may also add a pinch of pepper powder and two teaspoons of honey. Drink this solution while it's still warm.
- Take a glass of lukewarm milk and add a pinch of turmeric powder to it and drink this solution. You may also add honey if you want. This is one of the oldest and the most effective ways of dealing with a sore throat. Pregnancy is a time when a woman needs to increase her intake of calcium so having milk with turmeric all the more increases the chances of soothing a sore throat.
If you do not get relief from above home remedies, try any of the following non-prescription medications that are easily available at your nearest drug store. Follow the instructions given on the label and most importantly, do not discontinue the dosage as soon as the symptoms disappear. If you do so, there are greater chances of the infection getting back again in a few days. Complete the medication course in the given time for better results.
*Note: Ensure that you consult your health care professional before consuming any of the mentioned medications, to prevent any risk.
→ Sucrets: It is a popular throat lozenge used for treating sore throat in pregnant women. Place the lozenge in the mouth and let it dissolve. Do this every two hours till you feel relieved.
→ Chloraseptic Spray (alcohol free): Another famous sore throat medicine available in the form of a spray. Read the instructions on the label of the bottle and use the spray accordingly.
How to Avoid a Sore Throat
- Take adequate rest, especially during the first trimester. This way, the chances of you contracting a cold and sore throat go down considerably. Overworking yourself during the first trimester only makes the pregnancy even more difficult.
- Eat a balanced diet. Proper eating habits help to prevent the chances of contracting any kind of infection.
- Avoid smoking and drinking completely when you're pregnant.
- Stay hydrated, as a state of dehydration increases susceptibility towards cold and sore throat.
- Before taking any kind of medication for sore throat, consult your health care professional.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only and does not, in any way, intend to replace the advice of a medical expert.