As we get deeper into the fall season, you may be wondering about the effects a common cold will have on your body and on your unborn baby. If you eat a healthy diet and exercise on a regular basis throughout pregnancy, your immune system may be strong enough to ward off any colds and diseases. However, if you don’t eat healthy and lack physical activity, you may be more susceptible to colds, which new research shows could increase your baby’s risk for developing asthma.
This latest study, which was published in an issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, followed over 500 children from the time they were born until they turned five years old. It was found that children whose mothers suffered from over three colds during pregnancy were twice as likely to develop asthma by the time they turned five.
The study authors aren’t entirely clear why catching multiple colds during pregnancy will increase the risk for asthma in children, but they suspect that there may be a genetic connection. Mothers who exercise regularly throughout pregnancy can reduce the chances they’ll become ill by as much as 29 percent. Expectant mothers should also pay more attention to staying clean throughout the day and wash their hands after touching door handles, railings, and other public items, as well as avoid touching their face to avoid the transferring of viruses.
Marjorie Greenfield, MD, division chief of General Obstetrics and Gynecology at University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Cleveland, says that you may be able to take certain over-the-counter drugs to treat colds during pregnancy, but it’s wiser to attempt to alleviate symptoms naturally for the sake of protecting your unborn baby. Use a humidifier or take a warm shower to help open your sinuses, and drink herbal teas.
If at any point you experience a fever during pregnancy, contact your OB-GYN immediately. Greenfield says having a fever can put your baby at an especially high risk for birth defects, especially during the first trimester.
CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. Contact us today to learn more about our obstetrics and maternity services.
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