How To Manage Allergic Asthma During Pregnancy

May 19, 2011 by moi 

Asthma affects about 3 to 4 percent of the general population, while approximately 1 to 4 % of pregnancies are complicated by asthma. By definition, asthma is a chronic inflammatory airway disorder with a major hereditary component. It is caused by tightening of muscle tissues close to the airways associated with inflammation of the airway lining and increased mucus production.

A lot of asthmatics will go asymptomatic for prolonged periods of time. These folks commonly get asthma attacks only once they are exposed to triggers like known allergens (e.g. dust, peanuts, change in environment temperature, etc.) or exercise-induced. When this happens, asthmatics experience difficulty of breathing, coughing, wheezing, really fast respiration, chest pain or pressure, tightening of neck and chest muscle groups, pale sweaty face, and bluish discoloration of lips and nails.

The question of whether or not pregnancy may make asthma worse has not been satisfactorily countered. Until this date, there is no clear answer to this question. For some females their asthma improves, for most it stays the same, though others, their asthma get worse.  But in general, women beginning pregnancy with serious asthma are much more likely to experience worsening of asthma signs and symptoms than those with mild disease.

Now, simply because you have asthma does not imply that you can’t have a trouble-free pregnancy, much more a healthy baby. Doctors agree that great asthma management is the key to a successful pregnancy. And great asthma control may be attained if pregnant asthmatics see their medical doctors (both internist and obstetrician) regularly all through the entire pregnancy. Here is what you must do:

  1. Work with your asthma doctor (allergist or internist). Doing so is essential so that your doctor can assess how severe your asthma is, and he can give treatment appropriate for you even though you are pregnant. If you are presently using an asthma controller medication, it is very best to tell your physician about it so necessary adjustments can be done.
  2. Determine your asthma triggers. Always keep a note of what causes your asthma attack and avoid those causes as much as you can. This is the best prevention for asthma attacks.
  3.   Ensure your asthma physician and your obstetrician coordinate your care. By doing this, double treatment for asthma is avoided.

A lot of scientific studies have revealed that if your asthma is not managed during pregnancy, both you and your child might be harmed. You may suffer from life-threatening complications similar to high blood pressure, eclampsia, preterm labor, pneumothorax, acute cor pulmonale, cardiac arrythmias, and muscle fatigue with respiratory arrest.  Your baby, on the other hand, may be born prematurely, with a low birth weight, and increased risk for perinatal mortality.

In summary, being an asthmatic does not mean you should be deprived of the chance to have a normal and healthy pregnancy. More than that, asthma is practically never a main reason not to get pregnant. It must constantly be remembered that it is medically possible for any expecting asthmatic to have a healthy pregnancy, as long as she has good control of her asthma all through the pregnancy.

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