Pregnancy

All You Need To Know About Chest Infections And Pregnancy In Winters

Ambili S Kartha
Pregnancy

Created by Ambili S Kartha
Updated on Feb 02, 2018

All You Need To Know About Chest Infections And Pregnancy In Winters

Chest infections are common after having a cold or flu. Winter is a season when all the cold and flu spreading microbes thrive. That is why winter is considered to be a season of the chest infections.

Although anyone can develop a chest infection in winter, having a weakened immune system increases the risk considerably. Pregnant women, with an already suppressed immune system, are more prone to chest infections during winter.

What Causes Chest Infection In Pregnant Women During Winter?

  1. Exposure to air pollution
  2. Active or passive smoking
  3. Lack of personal hygiene
  4. Coming in contact with an infected person

What Are The Impacts Of Chest Infection In Pregnancy?

Here are some of the impacts of chest infection in pregnancy.

  1. Chest infection leads to breathing difficulties. This, in turn, affects the intake of oxygen. When there is no optimum level of oxygen in mother's blood, the oxygen supply to the fetus will be affected. This can affect the normal development of the fetus
  2. If the chest infections aggravate, the doctors will be forced to put the expecting mother under medications. Most of the medicines for chest infection are not safe during the pregnancy
  3. The conditions that accompany chest infection like fever, loss of appetite, etc. will hinder the fluid intake and food intake of the expecting mother. This paves the way to insufficient nutrition and also, will increase the chances of dehydration. Dehydration can bring about unnecessary complication during pregnancy

How Can I Prevent Chest Infections In The Winter?

Here are some of the ways you can prevent chest infections during pregnancy.

  1. Minimise the chances of getting exposed to the virus
  2. Try to stay away from overcrowded places that are not properly ventilated
  3. Practice personal hygiene. Wash the hands more often
  4. Try to get your annual flu shot before winter
  5. Stick on to healthy eating habit
  6. Eat fresh and warm food
  7. Avoid cold food and dairy products
  8. Eat lots of seasonal green leafy vegetables and fruits. This will help to boost your immunity
  9. Increase the fluid intake
  10. Stay away from alcohol and smoking

What Are The Natural Remedies For Chest Infection In Winter?

Here is some natural way to alleviate the annoying symptoms of chest infection in winter pregnancy.

  1. Place humidifier in your room. This will help to breathe more effortlessly
  2. Taking a hot steamy shower will also help to alleviate the breathing issues and body pain to some extent
  3. Take plenty of rest
  4. Drink lots of hot beverages. Hot turmeric milk, black tea with lemon and honey, clear soups are some of the options
  5. Squeezing the juice of a half lemon into a glass of warm water with some honey is a good option to alleviate the symptoms of a chest infection. As lemon, loaded with vitamin C helps to fight infection, the honey is renowned for its antiviral and antibacterial properties
  6. Garlic and raw onions also have excellent antiviral properties. Mix finely chopped onion and garlic with some honey. Keep it in an airtight container for overnight Gulping down this mixture at regular intervals with warm water will help to relieve the symptoms of the chest infection
  7. Hot compresses are well known to treat respiratory issues and chest congestion. Either use a warm towel or a hot water bag to warm your chest and back or else you can place mustard plaster to relieve chest congestion by loosening the mucus

What Are The Most Commonly Occurring Chest Infections In The Winter?

Pneumonia and bronchitis are two main chest infections that affect the expecting mother during the winter.

Pneumonia during pregnancy can lead to several complications in your pregnancy. While there is nothing to get scared about the disease but it always pays to exercise caution, especially when you are pregnant. It is a seasonal disease that gets activated during winters. And it prevention is always better than cure for pneumonia.

Bronchitis During Pregnancy

Bronchitis is an inflammation of the two largest airways (bronchi) that pass from the mouth to the lungs. The same viruses that cause colds are usually the culprits for acute bronchitis as well. The viruses from the nose and throat get into the upper airways of the lungs and propagate. During the viral infection, the mucous membrane of the bronchi starts to secrets increased levels of mucus that bronchi is not able to get rid of. This hinders the air passages and eventually affects the function of the lungs.

There are two kinds of bronchitis -- Acute and Chronic

Chronic bronchitis is a serious condition that could give rise to serious consequences and last for longer period.

However, here we are dealing with acute bronchitis, which is more common in the winter.

What Are The Causes Of Bronchitis During Pregnancy?

Here are some of the common causes of bronchitis during pregnancy.

  1. Acute bronchitis is caused by the same viruses which also cause cold and flu. Even though in usual cases, bronchitis lasts up to 3 weeks, the low level of immunity during pregnancy, can extend the infection period to another one or two weeks
  2. Just like any viral infection, pregnant woman contracts bronchitis by coming in contact with someone who is having an infection
  3. Another cause is air pollution. We all know that air pollution tends to peak during winter
  4. Inhaling tobacco smoke, chemicals, smog, chemical fumes and dust particle can also trigger bronchitis during pregnancy

What Are The Symptoms Of Bronchitis During Pregnancy?

Symptoms of bronchitis during pregnancy include.

  1. A dry and frequent cough which may produce greenish, yellowish, or even clear mucus
  2. Aches and pain in chest
  3. A sore throat
  4. Gradual rise in temperature
  5. Blocked or a runny nose
  6. Drowsiness, weakness, irritability, and fatigue
  7. Wheezing or shortness of breath (more common in chronic type of bronchitis)
  8. Loss of appetite

Treatment For Bronchitis During Pregnancy

As over the counter medication can cause harm for the progressing pregnancy and developing fetus, best treatment options include

  1. Taking plenty of rest
  2. Relying on home remedies to alleviate the annoying symptoms
  3. Using steam and humidifier to unblock the air passages to the lungs

Did you like the blog on chest infections during pregnancy? Share your views and feedback in the comments section below.

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| Jan 11, 2018

When a woman is pregnant she undergoes a lot of hormonal changes and there are chances of getting various medical problems also, however there is not need to worry if you take a good care of yourself and are constantly in touch with you doctor. The most critical season during pregnancy is winters when there are chances of getting cold. and most infections due to cough in chest. For more information please visit- http://www.parasbliss.com/

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| Dec 08, 2017

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| Dec 08, 2017

Pregnant women, already with a suppressed immune system, are more prone to chest infections during winter. very useful tips! thanks for sharing!!

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