Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects the air passages that transport air to and from your lungs, making it difficult to breathe. During pregnancy, your asthma may sometimes worsen, adversely affecting you and your baby. Worsening of asthma symptoms usually occurs during the second and third trimester of pregnancy, peaking around 6 to 9 months. Hence, when you get pregnant, it is important to inform your doctor about your history of the condition so that you obtain appropriate treatment to control it.
It is necessary to treat asthma during pregnancy as avoiding treatment can result in high blood pressure and low oxygen supply to your baby, which can adversely affect growth, as well as cause premature birth and low birth weight. Your doctor will recommend that you continue your usual medications or will alter treatment depending on severity of your symptoms. Asthma medications are safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
During pregnancy, it is necessary to take the general precautions to prevent asthma attacks. You will be advised on how to alter your medications should you develop a respiratory infection which increases your likelihood of developing an attack. Your doctor will monitor your lung function and perform regular ultrasounds to examine your baby. Anti-allergic medications may help control symptoms but must be taken after consulting your doctor. It is important to monitor your baby’s movements and inform your doctor if you notice any reduced activity especially during an asthma attack. Avoid allergic triggers and exposure to smoking. A flu shot is safe at any time during pregnancy and is recommended for extra protection.
Follow your asthma treatment plan in order to ensure a safe and healthy pregnancy. If your asthma is managed well, you will have little or no risk of complications for you and your baby.