pregnancy and asthma
Asthma is very common in young women, and mild asthma should not cause any problem in pregnancy. However, it is important to continue with your asthma medication when you are trying to conceive and during pregnancy.
Uncontrolled severe asthma can be associated with problems for the developing baby due to lack of oxygen. You should discuss your medication with your doctor before trying to conceive.
Asthma will affect about 8% of pregnant women.
- Women with severe asthma are more likely to worsen, while those with mild asthma are more likely to improve or remain unchanged.
- The change in the course of asthma in an individual woman during pregnancy tends to be similar on successive pregnancies.
- Asthma attacks are most likely to occur during the weeks 24 to 36 of gestation, with less than 10% becoming symptomatic during labor and delivery.
- The changes in asthma noted during pregnancy usually return to pre-pregnancy status within 3 months of delivery.
Asthma Care During Pregnancy:
- Avoid asthma triggers (smoke, other air pollution, allergens)
- Medications: careful balance of daily controller medications and quick relief medications.
- Influenza vaccine: recommended for all pregnant women
- Allergy shots: Although allergy immunotherapy injections are not started or the dose increased during pregnancy, the injections can be continued at the same dose throughout pregnancy.
- Fetal monitoring: especially important as the pregnancy progresses.
- Early recognition of other disorders that may complicate asthma:
- GE reflux: which is common during pregnancy
- Sinus infections: 4 times increased risk of sinus infections in pregnant women
- Vocal cord dysfunction: difficulty breathing primarily on inspiration related to closure of the vocal cords (when they should be opening)
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