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Bronchitis While Pregnant: Everything You Need To Know

Bronchitis While Pregnant: Everything You Need To Know
Linda Guerrera

Bronchitis is a lower respiratory infection that causes inflammation of the lungs and bronchial tubes. A tell-tale sign of bronchitis is persistent coughing. Symptoms also include chest discomfort and difficulty breathing. 

Having bronchitis can be debilitating. Medications are typically prescribed to fight the infection and ease the cough—however, treatment changes when a woman develops bronchitis in pregnancy since drugs can affect the unborn child. 

Causes of Bronchitis 

Dealing with bronchitis while pregnant can be challenging, but there are ways to fight the infection while not harming the developing baby. The causes of bronchitis are the following: 

  • Viral Infections: Bronchitis is typically caused by viruses like the common cold or flu. Pregnant women may be more susceptible to these infections because of changes in their immune systems. 
  • Bacterial Infections: While bacterial infections are less common, they can cause bronchitis. In such cases, your doctor may likely prescribe antibiotics. 
  • Environmental Factors: Irritants like allergens, cigarette smoke, or air pollution can also contribute to bronchitis. 

Bronchitis Symptoms 

  • Persistent Cough: Coughing is the key symptom when diagnosing bronchitis. The cough may be dry or produce mucus. 
  • Chest Discomfort: You may feel a heaviness in your chest that makes it hard to inhale. Pain or discomfort is a common symptom. 
  • Wheezing: Another hallmark symptom is the little whistle you hear while breathing. This is caused by inflammation of the bronchial tubes. Because there is little room for air to move through in the bronchial passages, there is often an audible sound when inhaling or exhaling. This is a sign of significant airway constriction. 
  • Fever: Since a viral infection usually causes bronchitis, fever is not common. However, if a bacterial infection causes it, it can produce a fever. 

Treatment Options for Bronchitis During Pregnancy 

The most important thing to do while you are pregnant is to take care of yourself. Anything you do can affect your unborn child, so it is imperative to follow your doctor’s advice to ensure a healthy baby. 

  • Rest: This is the number one most important thing to do when you are dealing with bronchitis in pregnancy. Adequate rest is essential for your body to recover. Fatigue is common when pregnant, so make sure you get all the rest you need for your health and the health of your unborn child. 
  • Hydration: We always hear that we need to drink plenty of fluids when we are sick. This helps to flush out toxins and will also help thin mucus and prevent dehydration. 
  • Steam: Inhaling steam from a bowl of hot water can ease congestion and provide relief from chest discomfort. This is one of the best natural remedies for bronchitis while pregnant. Steam opens the bronchial tubes and relieves chest congestion and pressure. 
  • Saline Nasal Spray: While other types of nasal sprays can be harmful to both you and your baby, saline formulas can help clear nasal passages and reduce postnasal drip without dangerous drugs. 
  • Cough Drops or Lozenges: To ease a cough and soothe a sore throat, non-medicated cough drops can help get you on the road to feeling better. There are many options available that do not contain drugs or sugar. 
  • Medication: Your doctor is the best source of what to take for bronchitis while pregnant, so make sure to ask about any medications that can be harmful to your unborn child. Even certain over-the-counter drugs should be avoided. If bronchitis is due to a bacterial infection, antibiotics may be prescribed, but using them should also be discussed with your doctor in detail. Don’t be afraid to ask your healthcare provider about any risks, even if they are the ones who prescribed the medication. 

How To Prevent Bronchitis In Pregnancy 

There are several ways to avoid bronchitis and ensure the health of both mother and baby.  

  • Wash your hands frequently 
  • Talk to your doctor about the flu vaccine since contracting influenza can also lead to bronchitis 
  • Don’t Smoke and Avoid Secondhand Smoke: Smoke is an irritant that can make bronchitis symptoms so much worse! Smoking is not good for anyone, and secondhand smoke can also cause lung problems. Bottom line: Stay away from smoke! 

When to Seek Medical Help  

Tell your doctor immediately if you suspect you may have bronchitis while pregnant. Also, if your symptoms get worse, if you develop a high fever, have difficulty breathing, or have any other concerns, reach out to your healthcare provider. Timely medical attention is crucial for your well-being and the health of your baby. 

Complications of Bronchitis During Pregnancy 

As awful as you may feel, bronchitis is typically a mild condition. However, severe and untreated bronchitis can lead to complications like pneumonia or exacerbate pre-existing respiratory issues

In rare cases, severe bronchitis may affect the developing fetus, emphasizing the importance of prompt medical attention and proper treatment. 

Pregnancy and Medication 

If your doctor prescribes medication, it’s okay to ask them about the potential risks. It is always important to make sure that you are comfortable asking your doctor questions and that you feel confident that you and your unborn child are safe. 


While it is important to follow your doctor’s recommendations, make sure to listen to your body. Rest, a well-balanced diet, and staying hydrated can help you recover more quickly and maintain your overall health during pregnancy. 

Every pregnancy is different, and your doctor is the best source for guidance and information when dealing with bronchitis while pregnant. Your physician can assess your specific situation, provide personalized recommendations, and ensure the well-being of both you and your baby. 

Products To Help Bronchitis




Disclaimer: All content found on our website, including images, videos, infographics, and text were created solely for informational purposes. Our reviewed content should never be used for the purpose of diagnosis or treatment of any medical conditions. Content shared on our websites is not meant to be used as a substitute for advice from a certified medical professional. Reliance on the information provided on our website as a basis for patient treatment is solely at your own risk. We urge all our customers to always consult a physician or a certified medical professional before trying or using a new medical product.


HPFY Linda Guerrera

Linda Guerrera

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Linda Guerrera has been the Digital Content Manager for Health Products For You since 2022. A recipient of the New York State Broadcasters Award for Outstanding Work in Radio, she spent over ...

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