Pregnancy and asthma

During pregnancy, asthma worsens for a third of the women, decreases for another third and remains stable for the remaining third.

Asthma medication will not harm your baby, so it is therefore important for you to continue your treatment, and some cases if your asthma worsens you may need to increase your medications. The risks of uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy are much greater than any related to taking asthma medication.

Asthma can cause or increase the risks of

  • Miscarriage
  • Haemorrhage
  • Anaemia
  • Caesarean section
  • Post natal depression

Most prescribed drugs for asthma do not present any danger for expectant mothers.

The risks of not taking the appropriate treatment are higher than those the medication could cause.

Consequences of asthma on the foetus

Breathing difficulties in a pregnant women can cause a reduction in the oxygen supply to the foetus and cause complications like a premature birth and a low birth weight...

Respiratory function must be monitored regularly during pregnancy. Self monitoring using a peak flow meter is advisable as well as review by your GP and or asthma nurse. Any decline in peak flow readings should be discussed with your GP and obstetrician.

Pregnant women are advised to be vaccinated against the flu virus and swine flu virus.

All the same preventable measures, reduction in exposure to allergens apply during pregnancy including: damp dusting to reduce against dust mites for example.

Smoking is harmful to your unborn baby and to your lungs especially if asthmat..

It is important to keep active during your pregnancy and to always take your blue reliever (bronchodilator) inhaler medication before exercise and whenever you need it.

During labour you produce natural steroid hormones which often protect you against having an asthma attack during labour. However, make sure you have your inhalers with you and it will not harm your baby if you need to taken them. Discuss it with your midwife and make provision within your birth plan as necessary.

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