Bronchitis During Pregnancy: Causes, Signs and Home Remedies


Pregnancy can also be very challenging because of the physical and mental changes that your body undergoes. These changes weaken your immunity system. During pregnancy, it is easier to catch viral or bacterial diseases, and these diseases even take longer than usual to reduce their impact. If you are down with severe cold and sore throat, you might have contracted bronchitis. Go to your doctor for a sure diagnosis.

In this article:

What is Bronchitis?
Causes of Bronchitis During Pregnancy
Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis During Pregnancy
Diagnosing Bronchitis while Pregnant
Risks of Bronchitis During Pregnancy
Treatment During Pregnancy for Bronchitis
Home Remedies for Bronchitis During Pregnancy
Prevention of Bronchitis During Pregnancy

A Guide for Bronchitis During Pregnancy

bronchitis while pregnant

What is Bronchitis?

This is a disease whose name is quite familiar. Bronchitis is when there is an inflammation of the airways or in your respiratory tract in the lower region, which makes it difficult for you to breathe. Bronchitis can be worsened your mucus membrane is infected with a virus which causes you to develop extra mucus and makes it harder for the bronchi to clear themselves. The heavy feeling inside your chest and the blocked nose are all symptoms of this mucus formation.

Bronchitis is mainly of two types- chronic and acute. Chronic is the serious one that lasts almost several months or years depending on the intensity of the damage and causes serious harm to the respiratory tract. Acute bronchitis is the kind that is common among pregnant women and can be quite easily treated. It is caused by viruses and takes around a few days to a week to completely go away.

Causes of Bronchitis During Pregnancy

To list some of the most common causes of bronchitis are:

Virus and Bacteria

Almost 90% of all cases of acute bronchitis are caused by the same viruses that are also responsible for spreading common cold and flu. These are rhinoviruses and parainfluenza viruses to name a few. Some bacteria can also cause bronchitis. Mucous that builds up in the respiratory tract due to prolonged flu can also cause bronchitis.


Breathing is already a heavy task during pregnancy as the developing fetus puts pressure on the mother’s diaphragm. Apart from that, common irritants of breathing like cigarette smoke, chemical fumes from cars, random dust particles, and dirt can trigger the onset of bronchitis by causing inflammation which is harmful to the baby. The baby can develop congenital defects due to such irritants.

Prolonged Exposure to Certain Substances

If you expose your respiratory tract for a long time to harmful chemical substances like chlorine and ammonia, or dust particles that can also be a cause for bronchitis.

Signs and Symptoms of Bronchitis During Pregnancy

Symptoms of bronchitis might be more in pregnant women than in others. Some common symptoms are:

  • Breathing difficulty and a constant feeling of being choked in the throat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Random chills, body freezing up
  • A steady fever which constantly rises your body temperature
  • Chest pains
  • Body ache, weakness, lack of energy and fatigue
  • Lack of appetite, especially for healthy foods
  • Constant coughing and sneezing

Diagnosing Bronchitis while Pregnant

The initial form of diagnosis for bronchitis is done by carrying out a physical examination where the symptoms are noted, the larynx is examined for inflammation and redness, and the ribs are felt for swelling, the doctor also hears you deeply breathing to detect mucous formation. Chest x-rays are sometimes done to understand the seriousness of the infection but that is usually avoided in case of pregnant women because exposure to x-rays, while you are pregnant, comes with its own set of risks. The mucous coughed out is sometimes tested in the laboratory for allergies.

Another test is done to rule out the possibilities of tuberculosis and pneumonia because these diseases have similar symptoms to bronchitis. You need to blow into a spirometer which is a device used to check pulmonary functionality and measure how much air your lungs can hold.

Risks of Bronchitis During Pregnancy

Extremely serious risks are not developed due to bronchitis, but during pregnancy, you need to be aware of every little detail.

Difficulty to Breathe Easily

As the bronchial walls of the respiratory tract are inflamed, it is difficult to breathe by taking up a lot of oxygen. Hence your lungs may take in a lower amount of oxygen which can hamper the level of the optimal oxygen intake which is required for a healthy fetus. Lack of oxygen can be very harmful to the unborn child.

Medications that can be Harmful to the Unborn Child

There are many antibiotics and chemicals which are not suitable for an unborn baby in the mother’s womb. Certain drugs that are completely safe otherwise can be harmful during pregnancy and you should be careful about using medication during pregnancy.


Since pneumonia and bronchitis gave similar symptoms, one can confuse the two. Fever is a common symptom of bronchitis. If your temperature rises a lot your unborn child develops the risk of getting affected by pneumonia which can be fatal.

Treatment During Pregnancy for Bronchitis

Bronchitis can be easily treated with antibiotics but it is of utmost importance that some caution is exercised and all antibiotics cannot be used as it is harmful to the baby.  Instead, it is always better to go for some trusted home remedies.

Home Remedies for Bronchitis During Pregnancy

  • Gargle with salt water is an age-old way of relieving mucous infestation from your respiratory tract. Mix some salt with warm water and gargle for 30 seconds at regular intervals.
  • Turmeric is almost a miracle spice loaded with anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities. Add turmeric powder to boiled milk and drink a cup while it is warm.
  • Ginger is another easily available ingredient that can be grated and added to warms soups or some tea with honey to treat the common cold.
  • Honey and lemon mixture is another effective way of countering viral infections like bronchitis as lemon contains a lot of Vitamin C.
  • You could also try inhaling steam by bringing boiling water bowl near you, throw a towel over your head, and inhale to release congestion that has been built up by the mucous in your respiratory tract.

Apart from these, maintain a healthy diet rich in vegetables and warm liquids.

Prevention of Bronchitis During Pregnancy

A few effective precautions might be to wear a mask and go out in public to avoid contact with viruses and dust particles. Wash your hands properly to avoid the spreading of germs, deliberately keep away from smoke and other triggers. Maintain a healthy lifestyle with proper diet and sleep.




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