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Sore throat while pregnant, It’s true how pregnancy can make the treatment of the smallest and the most common ailments way too complex, given the health concerns and safety of the baby. Nevertheless, these ailments in pregnant women cannot be ignored as well and need the necessary treatment to prevent the building of potentially serious illnesses during pregnancy.
One such common illness and the most irritant now is having a sore throat. Leave alone when pregnant, even in normal circumstances, having a sore throat could cause a lot of pain and discomfort. But what can you do to prevent it? How to prevent a runny nose and cold without taking the baby’s “normal” medicine?
To help you find answers and find relief from the sore throat, we have curated this blog post on our site with reviewed treatments for the symptoms. Let’s read on!
First Things First, Is It Dangerous for The Mom to Have a Sore Throat While Pregnant?
Fortunately, no! Having a sore throat in early pregnancy is as common as it is in later months.. Nevertheless, it might have uncomfortable ailments and in a few cases turn out to be quite serious, this is why you must make sure to always consult your doctor for reassurance and precaution. Meanwhile, here are a few common causes of a sore throat during pregnancy.
What Causes a Strep Throat or a Sore Throat During Pregnancy?
A strep throat could vary from mild to severe, including:
- Minor itching
- Burning pain
- Rough or sandpaper-like scratching
- Sharp pains as if you’re swallowing glass
Is a sore throat a sign of pregnancy? Along with other symptoms like nausea and headache, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels during pregnancy can also cause a sore throat. Indigestion or heartburn is likewise a typical pregnancy side effect, and it can likewise give you a sensitive throat. Sore throat pregnancy symptoms can be caused due to many things, from environmental irritants to pregnancy hormones. To name a few:
Most sore throats are caused by viruses that are responsible for the common cold and seasonal flu. For which, antibiotics are taken as they are ineffective against viral infections and generally run their course over 5 to 7 days.
Bacterial infections can be treated with prescribed antibiotics. One of the many hallmarks of strep throat is a white coating or white spots that are seen at the back of the throat with a high fever.
Adding on, make sure to always complete your antibiotic dose even if you feel better as insufficient treatment could lead to other stronger bacterial infections.
3) Environmental Irritants
There are many environmental irritates that can cause throat and nasal passages discomfort. These include dust, dry air, pollen, or any other allergens like smoke and chemicals. The best way to treat these is by avoiding the source of the irritation and/or run a humidifier to moisten the air.
4) Postnasal drip
Since the sinuses drain, the mucus tends to drip down the back of your throat which could be quite irritating and also cause a chronic cough.
5) A weak immune system
During pregnancy, the immune system tends to lower its strength in order to protect the unborn baby from any attacks by your body. This enables the body to be more susceptible to infections.
6) Pregnancy hormones
All thanks to the extreme changes in the body due to the pregnancy hormones, your body can experience several oral symptoms like having a dry mouth, sore throat, and/or excessive thirst. The best way to treat these is by having to take a few medical options and measures to increase comfort with lozenges and safe warm beverages.
Remedies of Sore Throat While Pregnant - What to Do and Don't?
Here are the things you must do and don’t, respectively to treat a sore throat while pregnant:
If you have a sore throat while pregnant, you must:
1) Check your Temperature
Even before you think of self-treating and taking any sort of drug, make sure you are not having a fever, that is, anything above 100 degrees. The reason being, this could indicate an infection that will need the doctor’s attention to cure. Also, having a high fever could be dangerous for your baby, especially when in the first trimester.
2) Have Tylenol
This is generally considered to be the safest to take during pregnancy. However, if the sore throat gets severe, you can take Tylenol or any other generic acetaminophen to find relief from the pain.
3) Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling with warm salt water could help and clear the throat from any irritants, loosen the mucus, and draw out excess moisture.
To make salt water, all you need to do is add ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm, not hot, water and mix it until dissolved. Now, to gargle, take a sip or two, tip your head back, and gargle for the mixture to reach as far back in the throat as possible. Do this for a minute and spit the salt water out.
4) Consume Tea with Lemon
It gets a little uneasy when you’re drinking liquids with a sore throat. As an alternative, try to choose hot and soothing drinks instead. These help you stay hydrated, are healthy, and also loosen irritating mucus in the back of the throat. For instance, herbal teas. These are popular during pregnancy, are naturally decaffeinated, and come with certain medicinal properties so having them in a healthy quantity is mandatory.
5) Throat Lozenges or Sprays
When having a sore throat during pregnancy, using throat lozenges and sprays is the safest option. Few come with menthol that relieves other cold symptoms like sneezing and numbs the throat from the pain.
Last on the list but definitely not the least, it is extremely important for you to take ample amounts of rest as your immunity is suppressed during pregnancy.
What Not To Do-
Here is a quick list of remedies that you must avoid while pregnant:
- Taking Aspirin
- Caffeinated teas
- Zinc lozenges
- Vitamin C supplements
When To See A Doctor for Sore Throat During Pregnancy?
Although having a sore throat isn’t dangerous, some incidents would need an urgent check from the doctor. That is when you have:
In case the sore throat is complemented with a fever of 100 degrees or higher — especially if it has been set after you’ve already had a sore throat for a few days, you must visit the doctor. High temperature is an indication of a condition that would need medical treatment, if not, could be harmful to your baby.
2) Suspected flu
If you experience chills, fever, and a sense of malaise with your sore throat, it could be a sign of the flu, which is dangerous for pregnant women. However, if checked on time, the antiviral drugs can help aid you from it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend using Tamiflu but is only most effective if started within the first 48 hours of the onset of the illness.
If you also have a skin rash, make sure to contact your doctor. It could be an indication of a severe illness that needs appropriate medical treatment.
4) Strep Throat
In case your sore throat comes in suddenly and severely, it could indicate strep throat that is frequently accompanied by white or red spots in the back of the throat. Nevertheless, its culture can only be confirmed by a doctor. These can be easily treated with antibiotics prescribed by the doctor, that is if diagnosed with it. Antibiotics prevent certain complications like rheumatic fever and kidney issues.
To Conclude: What Medications Are Safe To Take for Sore Throat While Pregnant?
As long as you follow the proper dosing instructions, few medicines are safe to take during pregnancy. Also, check with your doctor before taking any medications as every pregnancy is different, what might suit you might not suit other pregnant women. Here is a list of medications that are safe to take during pregnancy, (after the green light from the doctors, of course):
- Cough drops
- Throat sprays
During pregnancy, your immune system weakens slightly to prevent your body from rejecting your developing baby. However, infection is not always to blame for sore throats during early pregnancy. Heartburn, for instance, is a common pregnancy symptom that can also cause a sore throat. Additionally, pregnant women frequently develop congestion, which can result in a sore throat.