Although bronchitis can be a harmful illness to those who suffer from it, pregnant women may be more severely affected by the symptoms of bronchitis. Bronchitis can cause fetal complications for pregnant women who require constant oxygen levels to stay healthy. Since pregnancy weakens women's immune systems, pregnant women are more susceptible to contracting this illness.
Pregnant women should always visit their doctor if they notice any signs of bronchitis. However, it is also important to be informed about bronchitis and its possible complications during pregnancy. Here are some important facts that can help you to learn more.
What Leads to Bronchitis During Pregnancy?
The viruses that create the common cold and flu may also cause bronchitis. These include rhinoviruses, parainfluenza, and coronaviruses. Bronchitis can also result from an accumulation of mucus in patients suffering from cold and flu symptoms or asthma. An infected person can spread bronchitis to others through coughing and sneezing, and it is therefore contagious.
2. Respiratory Irritants
Bronchitis can also be caused by chemical fumes, dust particles, cigarette smoke, smog, tobacco smoke, and other chemicals. Smoking while pregnant or breathing in other toxic fumes can cause severe inflammation and chronic bronchitis. The unborn baby of a mother with chronic bronchitis may have congenital effects and infections of the lower respiratory tract.
3. Prolonged Exposure to Inhalants
Bronchitis can also result from prolonged exposure to inhalants such as ammonia, strong acids, chlorine, and grain dust.
Symptoms of Bronchitis in Pregnant Women
The first symptoms that a woman may experience include:
- Dry cough
- Loss of appetite
- Sore throat
- Fatigue, weakness, drowsiness, or irritability
- Gradual increase in temperature
These are all symptoms that can be treated at home, but a pregnant woman that has them should seek further medical treatment. Acute bronchitis typically lasts for around ten to twelve days, but may turn to chronic bronchitis if the symptoms do not clear.
Dangers of Bronchitis During Pregnancy
- Trouble Breathing: Because of the inflamed bronchial walls in bronchitis patients, people who have this condition often suffer from poor oxygen ingestion in the lungs. This denies a woman's body its typical level of oxygen and, in turn, lowers the fetus' oxygen levels as well.
- Medications: Treatment using antibiotics and other strong medications may be necessary in severe cases of bronchitis. However, some types of medicines can cause fetal harm if taken by pregnant women. A doctor will then typically recommend rest for bronchitis treatment.
- Pneumonia: Bronchitis can sometimes be accompanied by a low-grade fever; however, it is important to monitor a woman's body temperature. If bronchitis turns into pneumonia, this could cause a spike in body temperature that could be harmful to the fetus. Medications for pneumonia may also cause harm to an unborn baby.
- Dehydration: High body temperature caused by fever may result in dehydration that can induce contractions and result in early labor. In similar cases, the baby may have severe problems like spina bifida and even fatality.
- Loss of Appetite: Bronchitis may cause loss of appetite, but it is extremely important that pregnant women continue to eat anyway. If they do not, their babies could have an insufficient amount of nutrients that could affect health and development.
- Placental Abruption: Hospitalization may be needed in patients with severe bronchitis. According to recent research, hospitalization for respiratory infections can be linked to the abruption of the placenta.
Home Remedies for Bronchitis Treatment
If your condition is not severe, use the following home remedies to ease the symptoms of bronchitis. These treatments are also safe for unborn babies as well as their mothers.
- Drink lots of fluids that contain nutritious additives like lemon, raspberries, and honey.
- Get plenty of rest to boost your immune system.
- Consume raw onions and garlic that act as antiviral agents. Chop them up, mix them with honey, and take the mixture two times a day.
- Place mustard plasters on your back and chest to relieve chest congestion.
- Take hot, steamy showers or use humidifiers to ease a cough and loosen mucus.