Treatment of Bronchitis during Pregnancy

Patient

Q: Hi there. I just found out a few days ago that I am pregnant, but I'm pretty sure that I have bronchitis, and I'm susceptible to pneumonia. I don't have insurance, and I can't find a free clinic around the area to go to for help. What steps can I take that won't be harmful to me or my baby to get better?

Doctor

A:   Acute bronchitis is one of the most common conditions encountered in clinical practice. Acute bronchitis is a self-limited inflammation of the bronchi due to upper airway infection. Acute bronchitis is one of the most common conditions associated with antibiotic misuse. This respiratory condition is generally caused by a virus. Treatment for acute bronchitis in otherwise healthy people usually includes taking steps to reduce cough, fever, and pain. Prescription medicines, such as antibiotics, generally are not beneficial. There are several things that you can do to relieve symptoms of bronchitis, this includes :

Stopping smoking (if you smoke), and avoiding places where there is smoke.
Drinking plenty of fluids and over the counter cough suppressants to help relieve the symptoms of cough. Expectorants will help to bring out the mucus. Using a humidifier, steam inhalation or hot shower will help keep mucus in your airways moist so it can be coughed out easily.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol and get enough rest.
Use medicines, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin, to relieve fever and body aches.

If your symptoms do not improve with these measures, I would suggest that you consult a doctor because not all antibiotics are safe during pregnancy.

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