Maternal Cold in Pregnancy might Make Children Prone to Asthma, Allergy

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By Roshni Mahesh | February 4, 2014 5:32 PM EST

Mother suffering from common cold during pregnancy can increase the risk of allergy and asthma in children, a new study says. 

mcfarlandmo/Flickr
Getting a common cold during pregnancy can increase the risk of allergy and asthma in children, a new study says.

This occurrence was mainly because maternal exposure to various types of bacteria and viruses after conceiving disturbed the in utero environment needed for the healthy growth of a baby.  Apart from that, children growing in such an altered uterus environment, when being exposed to allergens like house dust and pet dander during the early stages of growth had higher risk of developing allergy by age five.

For the study, researchers looked at 513 German women and their 526 children. Participants filled questionnaires at different stages, starting with their pregnancy until their child turned five.  Nearly 61 percent of the children had a family history of asthma, hay fever or atopic dermatitis. Still the researchers found a direct link between maternal exposure to infections in pregnancy and asthma risk in babies.

"We know that allergy and asthma can develop in the womb since genetics play a factor in both diseases," allergist Michael Foggs, MD, American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI ) president, said in a news release. "But this study sheds light about how a mother's environment during pregnancy can begin affecting the child before birth."

Findings of the study have been published in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

According to health experts, catching a cold or flu is very common in early pregnancy as activity of the immune system is lowered during that time, to help avoid the baby being rejected by the body. 

Following are some methods that help avoid risk of getting any infections in pregnancy, provided by Cleveland Clinic in US:

  • Follow a healthy diet, particularly fruits and vegetables rich with vitamin C 
  • Take appropriate rest
  • Quit smoking as it can weaken the immune system
  • Remain happy by completely avoiding exposure to stress
  • Start taking a vitamin or mineral supplement after consulting a doctor

Some safe methods to cure Cold and cough in pregnancy:

  • Gargle with salt water
  • Use saline nose spray, vapour rubs or cough lozenges
  • Use drug Tylenol to get relief from pain and fever
  • Completely avoid taking Aspirin, Motrin(ibuprofen)
  • Increase fluid intake
  • Steam inhalation is effective to treat cold
  • A drink made by mixing honey and lemon to hot water can help get relief from sore throat

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(Photo: mcfarlandmo/Flickr / )
Getting a common cold during pregnancy can increase the risk of allergy and asthma in children, a new study says.
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