Asthma is one of the most common medical problems that occurs during pregnancy, it can be potentially serious. According to CDC, asthma affects 4—12% of women during child bearing age. Studies suggest that asthma complicates 7% of all pregnancies. About 30% of women with asthma report their asthma worsened while pregnant but with the right treatment you & your baby can be better. Most methods of controlling asthma are not harmful to your developing baby and will help in better development of baby. There is no significant risk to you & your baby if your asthma is well controlled, but uncontrolled asthma can cause serious complications.
Pregnant women with asthma may have higher risk of delivering early
Baby may have a low birth weight
May develop high blood pressure & preeclampsia with severe asthma
Problems may develop during labour
There can be severe morning sickness
Effects of asthma can change from season to season and month to month of pregnancy.
A lot of hormone changes occur during pregnancy, some of them can affect the lungs.
Asthma flares up mostly between 29 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
You and your allergist or physician should make a plan of treatment based on the severity of asthma & the medicine which you are taking .
Your physician should always consider the below mentioned pointers while planning the line of treatment during pregnancy where mothers-to-be are asthmatic:
— the inhaled medicines are generally preferred because they have more targeted
—It is best to limit the medicine as much as possible in the first trimester when the baby is developing, but birth defects with the medicine are rare
— some medicines used during pregnancy are appropriate during labour & delivery also.
Some experts believe that fast acting inhalers & inhaled corticosteroids are safe to take when you are pregnant. These medicines directly go into the lungs & very little absorbed in the blood stream & reach the baby although birth defects caused by asthma drugs are rare but your doctor will cut short the dosage during the first trimester
How to prevent the asthma attack in pregnancy:
Maintain safe distance from people suffering from respiratory infection
Quit smoking because smoking may worsen the asthma & health of on growing foetus
Exercise – Regular exercise is important for health. Talk to your obstetrician for the best advice for exercise during pregnancy
Pregnant women with asthma already receiving asthma shots should continue
If they are not having any reactions , as an extra precautions your allergist may cut the dosage , but dose should not be increased in pregnancy because that increase the chances of reaction.
Flu shot during pregnancy Women with asthma should get flu shots in pregnancy
Nowadays flu shots are included in the antenatal vaccination regime
Exercises suggested during pregnancy-
Deep breathing exercises—
Mainly help up to reduce the risk factor, these exercises improve the women breathing pattern
Deep breathing exercises include –
— abdominal breathing
—paused lip breathing
Some tips for exercising with asthma during pregnancy
Warm up first
Try to breath through nose as much as possible
⁃ wear a mask over the nose & mouth in cold weather
⁃ Do not over exert during exercise .
⁃ Include a cool down routine after exercise
– avoid outdoor exercise
Exercise effects/ benefits
-Improve lung function so you have more stamina & doesn’t get breathless easily
-improvement of immune system:-your asthma is less likely to be triggered by coughs & colds
-improve cardiopulmonary fitness.
Yoga helps the person with pregnancy to focus on their breathing in a controlled, rhythmic breathing during exercise
⁃ It can help a person increase her lung capacity while building muscle strength for overall fitness
⁃ Stress is the trigger for asthma in many patients , so reducing stress by yoga could help to reduce asthma flares
Some Important points:-
⁃ When asthma is under control , asthma never occurs during labour & delivery
⁃ Women with asthma can breastfeed the baby
⁃ Genetics play a role whether the baby will have asthma or not
⁃ Environment also play an important role
⁃ Asthma inhalers with corticosteroids are safe during pregnancy
⁃ Exercise is safe during pregnancy with asthma
Always keep your obstetrician informed about your asthmatic conditions and follow the line of treatment as prescribed.