How Will Asthma Affect My Pregnancy & How To Prepare For It?
Asthma is a chronic disease of the lungs. If you are expecting a child, asthma may have an impact on your health or the health of the baby. Find out how you can avoid the risk factors and follow a safe treatment.
Table of Contents
- 1 How Will Asthma Affect my Pregnancy?
- 2 Can Pregnancy Negatively Influence Asthma?
- 3 Is It Safe to Take Medications for Asthma during Pregnancy?
- 4 Do You Require Special Tests?
- 5 How to Prepare for Pregnancy if You Have Asthma?
- 6 How Will Labor & Birth Be Influenced If You Experience Asthma?
- 7 Will Be Able to Breastfeed?
- 8 Will My Baby Have Asthma?
How Will Asthma Affect my Pregnancy?
If this illness is adequately treated and controlled while pregnant, there`s very little chance for any complication to occur. On the other hand, if this disease is controlled and has serious or frequent exacerbations, your baby won`t get sufficient oxygen.
Untreated asthma during pregnancy increases the risk of:
- Complications of labor;
- Premature birth;
- The birth of a low weight baby or a small baby for the gestational age;
- The necessity of caesarean surgery.
In extreme situations, the life of the baby might be in jeopardy.
Can Pregnancy Negatively Influence Asthma?
You cannot know how your asthma may develop during pregnancy. It might worsen, it may improve or may experience no change before pregnancy. What is known is that this disease will manifest less while pregnant if previously was better controlled. If asthma gets worse during pregnancy, then this will occur especially in the second or third trimester of pregnancy, having a peak around the month 6.
Is It Safe to Take Medications for Asthma during Pregnancy?
Yes, it`s safe to use such drugs while pregnant. Actually, the penumologist will advise you to use inhaled treatment to try and control your illness during pregnancy.
There are a lot of drugs which are generally used in treating asthma, which are grouped into 2 main categories:
These drugs control inflammation as well as edema in the bronchi. They don`t act right away and as a result they won`t be used when a crisis is concerned. Instead, anti-inflammatory medications will have an effect that will last in time and will also improve as well as prevent the onset of asthma manifestations. Inhaled corticosteroids are the most frequently used anti-inflammatory medications, and beclomethasone is the most commonly released drugs during pregnancy. It hasn`t been proven if these medications would present any risk if provided to a pregnant woman.
It`s advisable that you don`t use Montelukast (Singulair) now, because it`s less known about its safety during pregnancy compared with the studies about inhaled corticosteroids. Still, if your asthma was controlled with this drug, the doctor might advise you to continue taking while pregnant as well. The risk of exacerbation is higher than the potential risk of the medication.
This type of drugs act very fast when you have an exacerbation or asthma crisis, relaxing the airways, and allowing you to breathe more easily. Ventolin is a frequently prescribed bronchodilator to be taken into the crisis. It`s usually seen as being a safe drug during pregnancy.
Talk to a pneumologist about this particular treatment for asthma if you want to conceive or if you have already found out that you are expecting a baby. The drugs that have been most used are commonly recommended during pregnancy, because about these it`s known that they are the safest. Inhalation medications are safer than tablets, because there`s a smaller amount of this drug absorbed into the bloodstream that will reach the baby.
Do You Require Special Tests?
If your asthma isn`t treated or severe, or if you recover from a serious asthma exacerbation, the obstetrician will advise your child`s ultrasound follow-up from the week 32 of pregnancy to follow the development of the baby, and if asthma continues to worsen, it`s required to perform the biophysical profile or the non-stress test. The test mixes fetal heartbeat monitoring with fetal ultrasound. Additionally, the doctor will recommend you to be careful about following the fetal movements.
How to Prepare for Pregnancy if You Have Asthma?
Taking care of your health is the best way to be certain you`ll give birth to a health child.
- Visit prenatal courses on a regular basis. Talk about any concern or fear you may have. Only by understanding and knowing what`s going on with your own person, you`ll manage to lower anxiety which may aggravate asthma.
- Take the treatment as your pneumologist has prescribed you. If you have any worries about the prescribed drugs, talk about it with your doctor.
- Avoid or try to control the triggers. You should avoid exposing yourself to passive smoking or other possible irritants, like mold, fur animals or pollen. If physical activity is a triggering factor, the doctor will prescribe a treatment that will prevent the signs.
- Treat the gastro-esophageal reflux, as it may worsen asthma. If you experience heartburn, try to reduce your symptoms by lifting the bed`s head, avoid those foods which cause you burns, eat small food amounts or avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before going to sleep.
- You should quit smoking, in case you do smoke. Ask for your doctor`s help. Smoking worsens this illness and may cause some health issues for both you and your future baby.
- Learn how to recognize any new alarm symptoms. Make certain you acknowledge the symptoms of an asthma exacerbation, like chest tightness, wheezing, coughing or difficult breathing. Talk with a pneumologist about a treatment in case of asthma crisis.
How Will Labor & Birth Be Influenced If You Experience Asthma?
Although most women won`t have essential signs of asthma during labor or birth, fetal monitoring is usually recommended for all women who experience asthma.
Will Be Able to Breastfeed?
All women with asthma are encouraged to breastfeed, even those who follow a treatment of asthma.
Will My Baby Have Asthma?
There are lots of risk factors that influence the risk of a person of asthma, which include a mother who smokes during pregnancy and family history (like a parent or brother who experiences asthma).