A new study has revealed that the more coughs and colds an expecting mother catches during pregnancy, the more chance her baby has of developing asthma.
Both genetic and environmental factors contribute to a child’s risk for asthma – a condition that affects an estimated 1 in 12 people.
The new research reveals that bacteria and viruses during pregnancy may affect the baby’s environment in the womb, exposing them to allergens and making them more sensitive as a result.
The study also found that being exposed to common allergens early in life had consequences later on – but not all allergens are created equal. For example, cat ownership by itself did not seem to affect a child’s risk for asthma or impaired breathing.
According to Dr Michael Foggs, president of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immonology, (which published the journal), it was already known that allergy and asthma can develop in the womb, since genetics play a factor in both diseases, however, he explains:
“This study sheds light about how a mother’s environment during pregnancy can begin affecting the child before birth.”
Dodging a cold, staying warm and dry and getting the right nutrients are especially important in chilly weather. For more tips on dealing with coughs and colds during pregnancy, click here.