Bronchitis During Pregnancy - 3 Causes & 7 Risk Factors You Should Be Aware Of


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Coughing and pregnancy just doesn’t go together. Your body is fragile during pregnancy, and a bout of coughing can shake it even further. And if that cough stems from bronchitis, you are in for a tough ride.

An inflammation of the bronchial tubes is known as Bronchitis. The function of the bronchial tubes is to carry air into your lungs. This inflammation can make breathing difficult. And when you are pregnant, bronchitis can affect much more than just your health. It can have an effect on your baby too!

Causes Of Bronchitis During Pregnancy:

There are a number of causes that can lead to bronchitis. Here are the major causes of this respiratory disease:

1. Virus:

The virus that causes common cold and the flu is also the culprit behind most cases of bronchitis. When a person with bronchitis sneezes, she passes on the disease to the people around.

2. Breathing In Irritants:

Another common cause of bronchitis is breathing in irritant substances. Smog, chemicals, tobacco

smoke can all lead to bronchitis. Smoking is the biggest cause of chronic bronchitis. When a pregnant woman smokes, she not only increases her chance of getting bronchitis, but also puts her unborn child at risk. Research has shown that women who smoke during their pregnancy put their child at an increased risk of respiratory illnesses (1) .

[ Read: Flu During Pregnancy ]

3. Others:

Prolonged exposure to materials like grain dust, ammonia, strong acids, chlorine, etc. can also lead to bronchitis.

Bronchitis Symptoms To Watch Out For:

Bronchitis comes with a horde of symptoms. Here are the symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Persistent cough
  • Fatigue
  • Fever

If you have bronchitis, and also come down with high fever, see your doctor as soon as possible. There are many risks associated with bronchitis in pregnant women, so it is important to be careful.

Risk Factors Associated With Bronchitis During Pregnancy:

For most pregnant women, bronchitis does not pose a serious threat. But it is better to be aware of the risk factors while dealing with bronchitis.

  1. A bad case of bronchitis can lead to hospitalization. Studies suggest that a hospitalization due to serious respiratory diseases can cause placental abruption (2) .
  2. The constant coughing can be stressful both for you and your unborn baby.
  3. Because of the inflammation in the bronchial tubes, the intake of oxygen to the body can suffer. This can cause serious harm to your baby.
  4. Bronchitis also increases the chance of pneumonia in pregnant women.
  5. The treatment of bronchitis involves antibiotics. But these drugs can harm your baby.
  6. In some cases, bronchitis may be accompanied with high fever, which is not good for your developing baby.
  7. When you are down with bronchitis, your appetite heads south. This can lead to the deficiency of nutrients and liquids in the body. This puts you at an increased risk of dehydration and can lead to preterm labor.

[ Read: Tiredness During Pregnancy ]

When To See Your Doctor:

Most cases of bronchitis during pregnancy can be dealt with at home. All you need is a lot of rest, healthy food and some non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). But do see your doctor if you experience the following symptoms:

  • Cough that lasts longer than three weeks
  • Constant fever for more than three days
  • Mucus streaked with blood
  • Pre-existing heart or lung condition

This first thing your doctor will do is rule out pneumonia, which has similar symptoms. If you have a severe case of bronchitis, your doctor may suggest a pulmonary function test to check your lung capacity.

[ Read: Fever During Pregnancy ]

Treating Bronchitis During Pregnancy:

A little rest and a lot of TLC is enough for treating most cases of acute bronchitis. But if your symptoms lasts more than three months, you’ll be diagnosed with chronic bronchitis. There is no treatment for chronic bronchitis, but your doctor may prescribe some medications to help you get relief from the symptoms. If you are a smoker, you need to quit if you want to beat this painful respiratory disease.

Any illness during pregnancy can seem dangerous. But with a little care you can prevent bronchitis easily. If you do catch a virus or get bronchitis, don’t worry! Though irritating, most cases of bronchitis are not dangerous. Just make sure to you stop smoking to prevent any harm to your baby.

Stay safe and healthy! Enjoy your pregnancy to the fullest.

Do you know of any home remedy for the treatment of bronchitis in pregnancy? Share with us in the comments section below.

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