She's one tough mama. 

By Samantha Lauriello
March 05, 2019

Jessica Simpson can't seem to catch a break with baby number three on the way. She's had a seriously swollen foot, relentless acid reflux, and now, the 38-year-old says she spent the last week in the hospital battling bronchitis. All in all, this was her fourth time in the hospital in two months!

"After a week in the hospital for bronchitis (my fourth time in 2 months), I’m finally home!" Simpson recently wrote on Instagram. "Coughing with Birdie has been a crazy painful journey. I am slowly getting healthier every day. Baby girl was monitored and is doing amazing!"

She went on to write that she can't wait to meet her little girl. "I am on my way to healthy and counting down the days to see her sweet smile. Sending love and prayers to all the mothers who are going or have gone through this. OUCH." 

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Bronchitis is an inflammation of the lining of your bronchial tubes, the branch-like passageways that carry air to and from your lungs. People with bronchitis typically have a nagging cough that usually results in them hacking up some mucus (yeah, it's not so pleasant). 

But Simpson's post made us wonder: Are you more likely to develop bronchitis when you're pregnant? 

"Being pregnant is a state of overall immune suppression because it's your body's way of not attacking the baby, which is foreign," explains Christine Greves, MD, an ob-gyn at the center for obstetrics and gynecology at Orlando Health in Florida. "Therefore, our defenses are down when we're pregnant."

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There's no science to suggest that being pregnant increases your risk of bronchitis specifically, Dr. Greves says, but we do know that pregnancy weakens your immune system in general, which makes you more likely to develop infections.

When you're pregnant, you should always take as many precautions as possible to avoid illness, adds Dr. Greves. Two key steps: Staying hydrated and getting lots of rest. (Yes, that means canceling some of the things on your to-do list.)

The good news? If you do come down with a condition like bronchitis, it probably won't hurt the baby, Dr. Greves says. But it is crucial that you make proper treatment a priority to keep the illness from spiraling out of control. It's always better to be safe rather than sorry when pregnant, she says, so don't hesitate to reach out to your doctor. That's what they're there for. 

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