How Asthma Can Affect Pregnancy

Asthma is a common respiratory condition that can cause a variety of symptoms. For those who have asthma when they become pregnant, special care should be taken to ensure the condition does not adversely impact the pregnancy.

Asthma and Pregnancy

When asthma is well-managed, a pregnancy may not be affected by the condition at all. However, uncontrolled asthma can negatively affect the mother and the baby. A pregnant mother could face high blood pressure and damage to other organ systems including the kidneys (preeclampsia). Other risks include early delivery, restricted fetal growth, and the need for a C-section. In extreme cases, the baby’s life might be in jeopardy. 

Controlling Asthma

Fortunately, having asthma while pregnant doesn’t mean there will be problems. Proper management of asthma reduces the risk of exacerbations and subsequent complications that follow. In order to have an uneventful pregnancy, management may look like the following:

  • Avoid Triggers- Every person with asthma has triggers that make their condition worse. Knowing those triggers and avoiding them is key to reducing the chance of an asthma attack leading to less exposure to medications needed to treat an attack.

  • Keep Track- It’s normal to experience shortness of breath while pregnant. For those who have asthma, it’s essential to work with a healthcare professional to monitor if shortness of breath is related to normal pregnancy issues or asthma. Once this is determined, proper action can be taken to keep asthma managed. Bernstein Allergy Group knows what to look for when asthma management is crucial. We can help offer peace of mind while your pregnancy progresses.

  • Take Medication- Every pregnant person should be aware of the impact medication can have on a pregnancy. However, most asthma medication is safe to take while pregnant. Working with a doctor who specializes in asthma ensures that asthma can be controlled without any potential harm to the baby due to negative drug interactions. Preventing asthma attacks is important when pregnant, and controller medications are often one of the best ways to accomplish this.
  • Plan the Birth- It’s not necessary to write a detailed birth plan, but it is important to make sure asthma medications are available during labor. The pain and stress of labor could set off breathing issues, and the doctor delivering the baby needs to know how to handle those if a patient has asthma.

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