What Are the Risks of Bronchitis during Pregnancy?

Pregnant women who have bronchitis may suffer changes in the levels of oxygen that are available to the fetus.
Pregnant women who experience a high fever in tandem with bronchitis should consult their doctor promptly.
A pregnant woman should always consult her gynecologist before taking any over the counter (OTC) medications to combat bronchitis.
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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 19 December 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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For most women with bronchitis during pregnancy, serious complications are unlikely to develop. Among the risks of bronchitis in pregnant women are changes in oxygen intake and the use of medications capable of harming a developing child. A woman may also develop complications of bronchitis, such as pneumonia. Such complications may make it more difficult for her to breath, require her to take potent medications, or expose her developing baby to fever. Appetite loss and failure to consume enough liquids are also potential risks of bronchitis, as they may result in a lack of important nutrients for the baby or dehydration of the mother.

One major risk of bronchitis during pregnancy is difficulty breathing. When a pregnant woman's breathing is less than optimal, her developing baby may be at risk. In most cases, however, a mild case of bronchitis that is not complicated by other illnesses won’t have a lasting effect on a pregnancy. If a woman does develop a complication of bronchitis while she is pregnant, prompt treatment may help her to avoid harm to her baby.

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Medication risks are also a concern when a woman has bronchitis in pregnant women. Antibiotics and other potent drugs are normally used when treatment is necessary for bronchitis, but these drugs can be harmful for a developing baby. Instead, doctors usually recommend rest and self-care measures for treating bronchitis during pregnancy in lieu of a potentially dangerous course of antibiotics. When these measures fail, however, or bronchitis seems to be worsening, a doctor usually recommends medications believed to be safe during pregnancy. As with all types of medications, however, it is difficult to predict whether or not a medication will be 100-percent safe for use in every pregnancy.

In most cases, bronchitis is accompanied by a low-grade fever rather than a high fever that could be more dangerous for a developing baby. When a high temperature does develop, however, a developing baby may be more at risk. A high fever is more likely to develop when an individual has a severe case of pneumonia or when a pregnant woman develops complications of pneumonia. Additionally, she may need more potent medications, which represent more risk for her baby.

Appetite loss is another risk of bronchitis during pregnancy. When a woman is suffering from symptoms of bronchitis, she may have less appetite than normal. If she eats less, her baby may not get the nutrients he needs. In such a case, the overall health and development of the baby may be at risk. Additionally, if a woman has a fever and fails to drink enough liquids, she may become dehydrated. This may lead to contractions that could cause preterm labor.

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bluedolphin
Post 3

@turquoise-- Are you eating well? As long as you're eating and getting enough fluids, you will be fine. Dehydration is a huge risk in bronchitis and most people don't realize they're dehydrated. The cough will eventually go away, it can take up to two weeks. Just rest!

ysmina
Post 2

@turquoise-- Your doctor is aware that you're pregnant and I'm assuming that he or she prescribed a medication that's safe to take during pregnancy. If you have doubts about that, get a second opinion with another doctor.

I had bronchitis during my first pregnancy. I resisted medications and did my best to recover on my own, with the help of remedies like a humidifier and herbal tea with honey. The remedies helped a lot but my bronchitis got worse and I actually ended up having to take antibiotics.

My doctor told me that when it comes to pregnancy and medications, they won't prescribe them unless the benefits outweigh the risks and in my case, they did. An untreated infection is much more dangerous for a baby than medication, especially at this stage in pregnancy.

If I were you, I would use a humidifier, sip on hot liquids and if I still need something for the cough, I would go ahead and take a low dose of the medication my doctor gave me.

turquoise
Post 1

I'm in my third trimester (thirty weeks to be exact) and I've just been diagnosed with bronchitis. Thankfully, I don't have a fever and I don't need antibiotics but I have a bad cough. My doctor said that I can take a cough suppressant if I need to and prescribed me one. I manage during the day, but my cough worsens at night and prevents me from sleeping. I have not taken any medications during my pregnancy but I'm actually considering taking the cough suppressant before I go to bed so that I can sleep.

Are cough suppressants harmful for the baby?

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