How to Treat Bronchitis When Pregnant?

Getting sick during pregnancy is anything but ideal. When you're already dealing with the discomforts associated with carrying a baby, the last thing you need is to be sick on top of that. Having a sickness during pregnancy can also be scary because you may be concerned about your baby's safety. This article will share everything you need to know about having bronchitis during pregnancy and whether it's dangerous for you and your baby.

Key takeaways:
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    Bronchitis is a type of respiratory infection that bacteria or a virus can cause.
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    Bronchitis during pregnancy is not a major cause for concern and will resolve independently.
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    Risks of bronchitis during pregnancy can vary depending on what trimester you are in.
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    When a bacterial infection causes bronchitis, antibiotics may be necessary.
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    Some antibiotics are safe to take during pregnancy, while others are not, make sure your doctor is aware of your pregnancy if you see them for help with bronchitis.
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    At-home remedies such as using a humidifier, drinking fluids, resting, Vicks VapoRub, and warm tea can help with some of the uncomfortable bronchitis symptoms.
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    If you experience severe symptoms such as shortness of breath or chest pain, make sure to see your doctor immediately.

What are bronchitis symptoms?

Symptoms of bronchitis may slowly develop and are similar to the common cold. Bronchitis is typically mild but can be more severe in some individuals. In some cases, bronchitis can develop into a more severe sickness called pneumonia.

Bronchitis is a respiratory illness associated with symptoms such as coughing, fever, sore throat, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Bronchitis is common during winter and is often caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Sometimes bronchitis develops as a secondary infection following a previous illness.

Risks of bronchitis during pregnancy

Many expecting mothers experience a heightened concern regarding illness during pregnancy; now, you're not just worrying about your health but also that of your baby. Typically, acute bronchitis while pregnant is not dangerous, but the timing of it can influence the effect it has on the baby and mother.

Bronchitis while pregnant in 1st trimester

During the first trimester of pregnancy, bronchitis is associated with a risk of congenital infection.

Bronchitis while pregnant 2nd the trimester

According to our research, bronchitis has no unique risks during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.

Bronchitis while pregnant in 3rd trimester

During the third trimester, the mother is more at risk than the baby when infected with bronchitis.

Bronchitis prevention while pregnant

Because of immunologic changes during pregnancy, pregnant women can be at an increased risk of developing viral infections. Taking care of yourself throughout pregnancy is important to stay healthy and avoid sickness. Although most viral infections aren't very dangerous for expecting mothers and their babies, they can cause a lot of discomfort during an already uncomfortable time.

Washing your hands regularly is a great way to help prevent sickness. Try to avoid spending time with other people who have recently been sick. Stay on top of taking your prenatal vitamins, so your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

Make sure to rest when you need it and take steps to manage your stress well, such as meditating, doing light exercises such as walking, and doing breathwork.

Bronchitis treatment during pregnancy

Bronchitis usually goes away on its own within one week. However, you may need antibiotics if a bacterial infection causes it. A virus causes many acute bronchitis cases, and viral infections are not treatable with antibiotics.

Prescription medication

If a bacterial infection causes your bronchitis, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics. Although some antibiotics are not safe to take during pregnancy, many are. If you visit a doctor other than your OBGYN to get medication for bronchitis, make sure to mention that you are pregnant so they can prescribe the proper medication.

Antibiotics that are safe to take during pregnancy include amoxicillin, ampicillin, clindamycin, erythromycin, and penicillin. Some antibiotics that are not considered safe during pregnancy include doxycycline, minocycline, trimethoprim, and sulfamethoxazole.

Natural remedies

You may benefit from trying some natural remedies for bronchitis if the symptoms are causing you a lot of discomforts. Some natural remedies for bronchitis while pregnant include.

Using a humidifier. Humidified air can help with bronchitis symptoms like nasal congestion.

A warm cup of tea. Warm tea is soothing during sickness. It can help soothe a sore throat and prevent coughing. Not all herbal teas are safe during pregnancy, so choose a pregnancy-safe option.

Using Vicks VapoRub. Vicks VapoRub helps to temporarily relieve cough when applied to the chest.

Taking a warm shower. The steam from a warm shower can help you breathe better when you're struggling with bronchitis symptoms, such as cough and congestion.

Resting. Taking time to rest will help your body heal and recover from sickness. Try to avoid overextending yourself while sick. Take off work if you can and ask for help or support from others if you have tasks that need to get done.

Drinking plenty of fluids. Staying hydrated during sickness will help your body heal and recover. Your fluid needs are increased during pregnancy, so you'll want to drink more water than you typically would when you have bronchitis.

When to call your doctor

Bronchitis is usually mild during pregnancy, but it can become more severe for some women. In some cases, worsening bronchitis can become pneumonia. If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical care immediately.

  • Chest pain
  • Coughing up blood
  • High fever (above 100.4 degrees F)
  • Shortness of breath that does not improve with rest

Always listen to your gut feeling. If something doesn't feel right during your pregnancy, you likely need to speak with your doctor. Never hesitate to contact your OBGYN if you are experiencing odd symptoms during pregnancy or if you don't feel right.