Asthma During Pregnancy: What You Need To Know
The best opportunity to get a healthy baby when mother’s disease is kept under control. Therefore, it is important that asthma is controlled during the entire pregnancy period.
Asthma Effect on the Fetus and Mother
Uncontrolled asthma result if dyspnea. Breathing task is to provide body with oxygen. During pregnancy, baby’s body gets oxygen through mother – that is, mother should breathe for her child. If breathing is difficult, mother’s and baby’s bodies receive less oxygen. Fetus needs oxygen for normal development and lack of oxygen at poorly controlled asthma can damage fetus, causing low weight, premature birth, birth defects and even fetal death. In case of poor asthma control, complications can relate to mother too. In case of insufficient treatment, there may be increased arterial blood pressure (eclampsia before or during labour), vaginal hemorrhages or premature birth.
Asthma Treatment During Pregnancy
The safest way to get a healthy baby is a good asthma treatment for the mother. Therefore, it is important that treatment is adequate. Usually, drugs for pregnant women are determined not very simple. All possible benefits and harms should always be estimated. Possible damage to the mother when taking medicines is less than inadequately controlled consequences. Even an average attack can cause serious health problems for both mother and child. It is important to consult a doctor as early as pregnancy beginning to choose the treatment that will help to keep the disease under control without any particular side effects and no harm to the fetus. Even if you are used to dealing with the disease without drugs, you should not get used to asthma symptoms and underestimate the potential harm that can be caused to the fetus at even mild symptoms. Ideally, asthma symptoms are minimally expressed or absent at all.
Asthma is not under control and treatment should be changed if:
- symptoms occur more than 1 – 2 times a week;
- you wake up at night because of attacks more than 2 times a month;
- every day you need medications to relax bronchial tubes, which is used if necessary (seizures medicine).
Watch the video about asthma and pregnancy:
Selection of Drugs
Asthma treatment at pregnancy is different from treatment before and after it. Despite the fact that not a single medication can not guarantee complete safety, clinical studies have shown what drugs do not cause harm to the fetus.
During pregnancy inhaled drugs are preferred, which benefit is that they get straight into lungs, and thus danger of getting a drug to the fetus is minimal. Most medications are inhaled. The treatment regimen of pregnant women also includes anti-inflammatory drugs. Among bronchodilators, there are also beta2-agonists and they may reduce uterine contractions strength. Due to this action, beta2-agonists are also used in suppressing premature labor. At earlier pregnancy stage, beta2-agonists use is permitted.
Medications that are taken orally or by injection should be used with caution, as they are quickly absorbed into the body and can also get to the fetus. Therefore, their use during pregnancy is not advised.
Asthma Medications and Breastfeeding
During the lactating period, it is also preferable to use inhaled medications for asthma. In general, during breastfeeding doctors recommend the same medications as during pregnancy.