Asthma During Pregnancy: How To Prevent Asthma While Pregnant

Asthma During Pregnancy: How To Prevent Asthma While Pregnant


Pregnant women with asthma expect an untimely attack (exacerbation) anytime during pregnancy. These include the manifestations of dyspnea (difficulty of breathing), presence of wheezing when breathing and cough.

Asthma During Pregnancy: How To Prevent Asthma While Pregnant

Furthermore, asthma attack during pregnancy can affect the well-being of the developing fetus. The oxygen supply of the fetus depends on the amount of oxygen inhaled by the mother. In this case, the fetus does not receive sufficient oxygen during asthma attack. This can lead to oxygen insufficiency and may cause several congenital problems in the later stage.




Overview of Asthma During Pregnancy


The most pressing issue concerning asthma during pregnancy is the hesitation of the pregnant mom to take medication. This is because most pregnant mothers fear that these medications might cause several fetal problems. It is considered as a misconception. We highly recommend pregnant moms with asthma to consult their doctor (obstetrician/gynecologist) regarding this matter because the risk of fetal anomalies caused by taking medications that controls asthma attack is rare.

Moreover, pregnant moms who failed to manage their asthma before or during pregnancy can increase the chance of having fetal problems. Aside from this, uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy can predispose the mother and developing fetus in the following complication:

Fetus:


  • Preterm birth (premature birth – delivery of the baby before 37 weeks of gestation);
  • Low birth weight (underweight – below 6 lbs.);
  • Requires longer neonatal hospitalization after delivery of the baby.

Mother


  • Preeclampsia (without seizure) and Eclampsia (with seizure) – hypertension during pregnancy;
  • Uterine bleeding
  • According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC), the prevalence rate of asthma in general population is about 4-5% while asthma during pregnancy ranges between 1% and 4%.

The mortality and morbidity rates related to asthma during pregnancy are comparable to general population statistics. Specifically, the mortality rate of asthma occurring during the course of pregnancy in U.S. is about 2.1 individuals out of 100,000 people.

The prognosis framework of this statistical report is categorized by the following:

  • 30% of pregnant women with asthma may overcome the condition by experiencing improvements on their well-being;
  • 33% of pregnant women with asthma may suffer from severe complications due to unmanaged condition; and
  • 37% of pregnant women with asthma may have milder complications related to unmanaged condition.

If the asthma during pregnancy is unmanaged, the severity of the condition usually occurs at its peak level during the 24th to 36th week of gestation. This is because the growing fetus pushes the diaphragm which may provide lesser room for the mother’s lungs to expand. However, most pregnant women with asthma suffer from exacerbation anytime during the pregnancy.

How To Prevent Asthma While Pregnant


If you are an asthmatic and become pregnant, it’s greatly essential that you speak with your doctor about how to control manage the symptoms of an asthma attack, as lack of oxygen in your blood can produce harmful and even dangerous effects to you and your baby.

Asthma During Pregnancy: How To Prevent Asthma While Pregnant
No Smoking  During Pregnancy


1.       Avoid exposure to allergens, including pet dander, house dust, tobacco smoke or strong perfumes.

2.       Use mattress covers and pillows with special casings to reduce the amount of dust mites.

3.       While it’s important not to smoke during pregnancy, having asthma and smoking during pregnancy is even worse.

4.       If you will be pregnant through the winter months, consider getting a flu shot.