Suffering through a cough and cold is unpleasant for everyone, but dealing with a bad cough when pregnant is even worse. Fortunately certain cough medicine during pregnancy have been deemed "low-risk" and should be fine for most pregnant women to take. However, it is always a good idea to get consult a doctor before taking cough medicine during pregnancy, or any other type of over-the-counter medicine.
While some cough medicine is considered safe during pregnancy, experts advise that women refrain from taking any form of over-the-counter medicine during pregnancy unless it is absolutely necessary.
The following types of cough medicine are considered safe during pregnancy: the expectorant guaifenesin (Robitussin, Mucinex), the cough suppressant dextromethorphan (Robitussin Maximum Strength Cough, Vicks 44 Cough Relief), guaifenesin plus dextromethorphan (Robitussin DM), and most cough drops.
None of these cough medicines safe during pregnancy should be taken for more than a few days, as prolonged use could be harmful to the fetus.
Cough medicines do not actually "cure" a cough, rather they help to temporarily relieve symptoms. For this reason, some pregnant women and their doctors do not consider cough medicines necessary and prefer not to put their babies at any unnecessary risk.
When taken responsibly these cough medicines should not harm a pregnancy, and since suffering from a bad cough can be miserable when pregnant, many pregnant women and their doctors believe the benefits of taking cough medicine during pregnancy to outweigh the risks to the fetus.