Asthma and pregnancy: How to manage it best

Asthma is a chronic inflammatory disease of the airways which is quite a common health problem in pregnant women. Even women who have not had it before may develop it during the pregnancy. Asthma is characterised by wheezing, coughing and experiencing difficulties in breathing.Asthma during pregnancy could mean an increase in blood pressure and an increased risk of Preeclampsia. Asthma is particularly risky for your unborn child as it could lead to abnormally slow growth of the foetus, a preterm (before 37th week) delivery, low birth weight and death just before or immediately after birth.Now having asthma does not mean necessarily a difficult or risky pregnancy. If your asthma is controlled during pregnancy, your chances of having a healthy and normal pregnancy and delivery are as much as that of someone without asthma. So better your control less the risks.In order to be able to manage the pregnancy and asthma effectively, you must
  • Let your gynaecologist know that you do have asthma as soon as you conceive. This will make it easier to review your medications and come up with an effective method to avoid episodes.
  • Now during the pregnancy your symptoms may remain the same, be more severe or milder. Whatever be the case, the triggers are usually the same, so avoid or control triggers like cigarette smoke, food allergies, etc. whatever affects you.
  • Monitor your lung function through the pregnancy so as to ensure your baby is getting enough oxygen.
  • You could take a flu vaccine which will give you that added protection against the flu. They are safe during pregnancy.
Discuss your medication with your doctor and continue with them if advised so. Remember that the risks from the medication are much less as compared to the risks associated with a severe asthma attack.