How to Prevent and Treat Bronchitis While Pregnant

How to Prevent and Treat Bronchitis During Pregnancy?

Coughing during pregnancy is common. There are many reasons why it happens. Some of them include:

1) You have not been exposed to germs before pregnancy.

2) Your immune system is weak due to illness or other causes.

3) You do not get enough sleep and stay up late at night (9pm – 5am).

4) You are tired from work or school.

5) You drink alcohol.

The most common cause of cough during pregnancy is colds and flu. If you have had one of these illnesses, your body may produce less mucus to fight off infection. When this happens, the lungs become congested which results in coughing fits.

Other causes of coughing during pregnancy include:

1) You have asthma.

2) You are allergic to any of the following medications: antibiotics, corticosteroids, antihistamines, decongestants, diuretics, hormones like birth control pills or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), mercury containing dental fillings or amalgams, medicines used for cancer treatment such as chemotherapy or radiation therapy.

These drugs can affect the thyroid gland causing hypothyroidism.

3) Your thyroid gland is underactive and not producing enough hormones.

4) Your fetus puts pressure on your diaphragm and lungs or you have a multiple pregnancy causing restricted breathing.

5) You have Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD).

What causes cough during pregnancy?

A cough is common in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is due to an increase in the production of mucus. Coughing during pregnancy is also caused by your growing baby bump which puts pressure on the diaphragm and lungs. Coughing during pregnancy can also be caused by the following factors:

1) Overwhelming the body by staying up late at night

2) Diseases like asthma, lung cancer, cystic fibrosis, tuberculosis, pertussis (whooping cough)

3) Allergies to dust, mold, pet dander, etc.

4) Discomfort or pain due to the size of your abdomen, the tight muscles in your pelvic region, a bladder or urinary tract infection, and so on.

How to Prevent and Treat Bronchitis While Pregnant?

You can prevent and treat bronchitis while you are pregnant by staying away from secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is also harmful to your baby. If you smoke, quit now. You can also prevent and treat bronchitis while you are pregnant by making sure you get plenty of rest. Get lots of sleep each night.

Expect to have some trouble sleeping throughout your pregnancy as your body begins to grow and change to accommodate your baby. You may find that you need to sleep sitting up or with several pillows. Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible.

If you can’t sleep, get out of bed and do something that will tire you out such as taking a relaxing bath, reading a book, etc.

Most importantly, remember to stay away from secondhand smoke and get plenty of rest. You can also prevent and treat bronchitis while you are pregnant by drinking lots of fluids every day.

What Not to do with a Cough

Don’t smoke! This is the most important thing you can do. Don’t smoke or expose yourself to secondhand smoke.

Quitting smoking will improve your health and increase the health of your unborn baby. Don’t let anyone else smoke around you either.

What Can I Take for My Cough?

If your cough is dry and leaves you feeling thirsty, drink plenty of liquids to prevent dehydration. Drink water, juice, or even sodas that do not contain caffeine. Avoid alcohol and foods with a lot of sugar since they can actually dehydrate you and make you feel worse. You can also try a steamy bathroom or hot shower to open up your airways and loosen the mucus in your lungs. You can also take certain cough suppressants if your doctor has recommended them for you such as Robitussin since it does not contain alcohol.

How Long Will This Last?

For most pregnant women, the cough will go away after the baby is born. The mucus is then able to running more freely since your diaphragm is no longer being compressed. For some women, however, the cough can last for months or even years after a difficult delivery. These women have persistent lung problems. If the cough lasts more than four weeks after your baby is born, contact your doctor.

How to Cope

If your cough is making you feel miserable, try to get the mucus out of your lungs as much as you can. Take hot showers or baths to loosen it up. Drink steamy beverages such as herbal teas.

Use a humidifier in your home or at least in your bedroom to make the air moister since dry air can make the mucus in your lungs feel drier and more uncomfortable.

You can also use a saline spray or rinse. These sprays and rinses attract water to the cells of your nasal passages so the mucus is loosened and can be easily wiped or blown out. If you are stuffed up, use the saline spray before blowing your nose.

If you have postnasal drip, use the spray after blowing your nose.

To use a saline spray:

Hold the bottle about 6 to 8 inches away from your face.

Close your nose and one eye and aim the bottle away from you.

Blast your nose by breathing out through it just as you push the button to spray.

Try not to inhale while spraying since this can lead to problems in the other nostril.

After spraying, blow your nose by tilting your head slightly forward and blowing hard.

If you use the spray while you are coughing, it can loosen the mucus so it comes up more easily.

This spray is safe to use as much as you need, but do not use a spray that has more than 10 milligrams of oxymetazoline in it.

Sprays with more than this can cause a hole to form in the tissue of your nose. While it will heal on its own, it can take months.

If you are prone to postnasal drip, consider using a spray with an anti-histimine such as Patanase, Astepro, or Claritin. Antihistimines thicken the mucus so that it cannot run down your throat. These sprays are safe to use as much as you need and do not have the problems that decongestants can cause in larger amounts.

You can also use an anti-histimine pill such as Claritin or Zyrtec.

If you have a large amount of mucus, try to cough it up. You can do this by lying on one side and pushing gently on your back while leaning forward. Stay in this position until you start to cough or feel slightly light headed.

A pillow placed under your head will make you more comfortable.

If you continue to have problems with your mucus, ask your doctor about an intranasal steroid spray. This is a safe and effective treatment for excessive mucus due to allergies or other causes.

Arrange for someone to take care of your children during the day since lying down can make the mucus drain better. It is also important that you get plenty of rest so your body can fight off infection if that is the cause of your symptoms.

If you have frequent episodes of mucus, avoid dairy products and foods that contain yeast such as bread. These foods can cause your mucus to become thicker and more likely to cause postnasal drip.

If you have to fly on an airplane, take a decongestant such as Sudafed 1 hour before your flight. This can help decrease congestion during the flight.

If you have allergies, have your doctor check to see what you are allergic to so that you can avoid coming in contact with these things. Allergies can lead to postnasal drip and other problems.

There are also a few surgical procedures to treat the problem.

Antrostomy is the cutting of a hole in the cartilage at the top of your throat.

If this does not work, an operation may be done to widen the opening of your eustachian tube.

After either operation, you will be prone to postnasal drip, but it should come out the nose instead.

Surgery is generally not recommended unless other methods do not work.

Thank you for listening to my presentation. I hope you will enjoy better health after following my advice.

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