Pregnancy is one of the most challenging experiences in a woman’s life. Staying healthy is the most important thing. You’re now responsible not just for your own health, but also for the health of your baby. Catching colds and cough can be bothersome during pregnancy as your body feels fragile and coughing can make you feel more uncomfortable and it can stress your unborn baby. You need to take extra care during this time because pregnancy brings about changes to your immune system. You can usually expect to get a sore throat or stuffy nose. But, if what you’re experiencing feels worse than a common cold it could be bronchitis.
What Is Bronchitis?
Bronchitis is an inflammation of the bronchial tubes – the airways that carry air to your lungs. The lining of your bronchial tubes makes mucus which traps dust particles, so that they don’t travel further into the body and cause irritation. When the bronchi are inflamed they produce more mucus and the body responds by coughing to remove the excess mucus.
Bronchitis can occur in either an acute or a chronic form. Acute bronchiti is a temporary inflammation of your airways that causes mucus production and a cough which can last up to 3 weeks. In case of chronic bronchitis, mucus production increases in the bronchial tubes due to ongoing issues of irritation and inflammation. Breathing becomes difficult and the hacking coughing becomes chronic.
Since pregnancy weakens a woman’s immune system, pregnant women are more at risk of contracting this illness. Acute bronchitis is fairly common, especially during the winter months, when the viruses that cause bronchitis, are especially active.
What Are The Symptoms Of Bronchitis?
The main symptom that a pregnant woman could experience in bronchitis is a hacking cough which could produce greenish, yellow gray, or even clear mucus. Also, she may experience symptoms that are similar to a common cold like a headache, sore throat, blocked or runny nose, fatigue, aches and pains.While, symptoms of chronic bronchitis includes shortness of breath, a low fever and chest tightness.
What Causes It?
The main causes of bronchitis among pregnant women include viral or bacterial infections. More than 90 percent of people with bronchitis have a viral infection. Most commonly, the viruses that cause the flu or common cold are usually to blame for acute bronchitis. Cigarette smoke, tobacco smoke, chemicals and dust particles can all lead to bronchitis.
How Do You Treat It?
Since most cases of bronchitis are caused by viruses, antibiotics are usually not useful in treating this condition. However, if the condition lasts longer than three weeks, you have a consistently high temperature, your phlegm is bloodstained or experience a sharp pain in your chest you should consult your doctor for a better prescription to manage the symptoms. When the infection is bacterial, you’ll be prescribed an antibiotic. Follow your doctor’s instructions and take good care of yourself at home!
Home Treatments For Bronchitis:
- Take plenty of rest to support your immune system as it helps to destroy the virus.
- Keep yourself hydrated by taking fluids like warm honey-lemon water, turmeric milk, or ginger tea.These fluids can help thin out mucus and clear chest congestion.
- Humidifiers showers manage your breathing difficulty. It can loosen the mucus and ease the cough.
Try Natural Remedies
Stay healthy throughout your pregnancy by following these simple tips:
- Salt Water Gargle
Salt water gargle will soothe your sore throat and also help you bring up mucus. All you have to do is dissolve one teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of water and gargle with it.
Turmeric due to its anti-inflammatory property can be very beneficial when it comes to treating the cough that you get with bronchitis. You just need to add a teaspoon of turmeric powder to a glass of milk, then boil it and drink up to soothe your throat.
3.Lemon and Honey
A squeeze of lemon juice in a glass of warm water with honey can work wonders for your throat. Lemon due to its flavonoids and vitamin C, and honey known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties, can help you fight infection successfully.
Ginger known for its anti-inflammatory properties can also help improve your health.Try steeping fresh, grated ginger in boiling water to make a tea that can relieve inflamed and irritated bronchial tubes. You can also add a spot of honey to sweeten.
Yogurt contains beneficial bacteria known as probiotics. Researchers found that probiotics may reduce both the severity of the symptoms of respiratory tract infections as well as how long they last.
Five to ten minutes of steam can help to clear congestion. You just need to fill a wide rimmed pot with water and bring it to a boil. Then, remove the pot from heat and once the water stops bubbling inhale the steam.
What Precautions Can You Take?
Avoiding bronchitis is especially important for pregnant women. If you follow the tips below, you’ll lessen your chance of getting bronchitis.
- Avoid Germs
The virus that causes bronchitis travels through the millions of minuscule droplets that come out of the mouth and nose when someone sneezes or coughs. These droplets travel about three feet and then land on surfaces where the virus can live for about 24 hours. Hence, keep your distance from people
who’re suffering from a cold. Also, make sure you wash your hands frequently and use an alcohol-based sanitizer. It reduces the risk of contracting the viral infection.
2.Build Up Your Immunity
A healthy lifestyle mean a healthy and strong immune system that can fight off disease-causing germs. This includes a balanced diet, exercise and sufficient sleep.
3.Take Care Of Your Diet
Eating healthy during pregnancy is the most important thing for your baby’s development. Plus, it can strengthen your immunity. For that reason, while you’re pregnant, make sure to incorporate a variety of foods- fruits and vegetables, grains and breads, proteins, and dairy products. The American Association of Pregnancy recommends on a daily basis to consume 2 to 4 servings of fruit, 3 servings of protein, 4 servings of dairy products, 4 servings of vegetables and 6 to 11 servings of grain.
4.Get Enough Sleep
Researchers found that people who don’t get sufficient good quality sleep are more likely to become sick when they’re exposed to a virus. Sleep deprivation can hamper your immune system and make it tougher for you to fight off viruses that cause bronchitis.
One more important thing is to be physically active. It’s recommended that pregnant women get about 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week. But, you don’t need a gym to do this. Instead, brisk walking or spending some time gardening such weeding or raking can be beneficial too.
Stay Safe And Healthy!