Asthma is a kind of chronic lung disease which makes its difficult for people to breathe. It’s one of the most occurred kinds of diseases affecting pregnant women. It is the most common disease which women experience during her pregnancy. As per the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, this kind of disorder affects an average 8 percent of women at the time of their pregnancy. In case you are already have asthma, then there is no way which can let you know how the pregnancy will affect it. The chances of asthma getting worsen increases manifolds during pregnancy or on some cases it might remain as it. Though the chances that the asthma will improve during pregnancy is very less.
Even if there is no history of asthma in you, chances are that you might experience an asthma attack at the time you are pregnant. Some of the symptoms and the kinds of risks linked with asthma at the time of your pregnancy are discussed below.
What are the symptoms of asthma?
In case you have never experienced an asthma attack earlier, then there are still possibilities that you might experience some kind of uneasiness at the time of pregnancy. Some of the most common symptoms of asthma are mentioned below:
- You might experience tightness in your chest
- You might have a breathing problem
- You can also feel shortness of breath
- Regular coughing and wheezing are some other systems of asthma
In case you have a history of asthma, or your body is showing some signs of asthma then there are higher chances that the condition will get worse in the future. You can let your doctor know about your regular coughing or wheezing as it is not normal and your doctor will advise medicine accordingly that will help in giving you some relief. In case you use inhaler or is consuming some kind of medication, then you need to ask your doctor, whether you should continue taking it during pregnancy or not.
Now since you are pregnant, so your asthma will also be different and so the symptoms. In case the asthma symptoms are getting worsen, you might start noticing them in your second or following trimester. WE all know that there is no cure for asthma, though there are many treatments which are available to manage the condition in a better and soothing way. Your doctor will assist you in forming a treatment plan which will cure asthma during pregnancy.
Some other effects of Asthma in Pregnancy
Though there is no significant risk to you or to your unborn child in case you have asthma and is controlled. Situation gets worsen in case controlling asthma become difficult and it can result in some kind of serious complications as well. For the pregnant woman, some other kind of complications include high blood pressure, premature delivery, and some other which can be controlled in case you are taking steps to control your asthma. For the baby, some kind of complications includes higher chances of stillbirth.
During pregnancy, almost one third of women with asthma experience better symptoms but for many, the experience is bad. Though there are many women who are pregnant and don’t experience any kind of changes within their body. According to many studies some of the symptoms which are experienced by pregnant women include:
- Pregnant women who face troubling asthma have higher chances of worsening the case, while women who have mild asthma might not feel any kind of chance or if there is any chance, it is for the betterment
- The change which a woman experiences at the time of her pregnancy will remain almost same for her future pregnancies as well.
- It is been studied that Asthma will worsen during weeks 24 to 36, and almost 10 percent of total women with asthma develop symptoms like labor pain during these months only.
- IN case asthma symptoms keep on changing during pregnancy, they it usually returns to pre-pregnancy status after three months of delivery.
There are many ways by which a pregnant woman gets affected due to her asthma; however, the exact change varies from woman to woman. The main reason of variation in asthma case is higher estrogen which results in congestion and result in stuffy nose during the initial months of pregnancy. With an increase in progesterone, it results in shortness of breath among women and only your doctor can help you in knowing the exact reason of shortness of breath at the time of during pregnancy.
What causes changes during pregnancy?
Though the doctors have not pinpointed the main causes which result in the change of asthma at the time you are pregnant, its mainly due to hormonal changes which your body is going through at the time you are pregnant. Sometimes, progesterone can result in higher respiratory drive and will also result in shortness of breath which you might observe during mid of your pregnancy.
Some of the complications which arise during pregnancy
Shortage of oxygen due to asthma symptoms in your body will affect the unborn baby as well besides affecting you.
In case of uncontrolled asthma, pregnant women are at a higher risk of some complications which are mentioned below:
- preterm labor
- Major sickness in the morning
- pregnancy-induced hypertension
- preeclampsia which is a condition which cause higher high blood pressure among women
Sometimes lack of oxygen will also poses some kind of risk on your unborn baby’s health as well, some of the problems related to it include:
- Lower birth weight
- perinatal mortality
Pregnant women who have asthma have higher chances of premature delivery as compared to women with no previous medical history related to Asthma. It is important that you share each and every chance within your body with your doctor, so that he/she can offer the best medication helpful in curing the problem. Also, your doctor will help you in controlling your asthma symptoms especially in case you have asthma and is planning to get pregnant in the future. If your asthma is well-controlled, then there are higher chances that you will not face any kind of problem during pregnancy and you can have a healthy and blissful pregnancy.
How to treat the symptoms
Your doctor will refer two types of medication to you which will help in managing your asthma in a significant way. The first one is controller medication which will help in reducing the chances of asthma attacks while the other one is rescue medication or known as short term which will give you relieve from the symptoms of an asthma attack at the time you are pregnant.
Your doctor will assist you in looking for the ways which in turn will help in identifying and avoiding your triggers, and asthma worsen can be avoided. In case your asthma is okay and is not troubling you much, still also it is advised that you consult your doctor at the time of conceiving. You can also ask your doctor about the changes you should make in your daily activity so that you can lead a healthy life. Let your doctor know about the kind of experience you are getting during pregnancy and ask them to make chances in the medications, if needed.
Treatment and Management
Don’t get afraid to talk to your doctor about the exact asthma condition at the time you are pregnant. Your doctor will assist you in choosing the best medications which will take care of you and your unborn child. Asthma symptoms keep on changing with your pregnancy months, and in case you are allergist to some things, you should avoid using them as it might worsen the case. Always remember that the medicines you take will just ease the asthma though they might not replace avoidance of your triggers. By avoiding the levels of triggers, you can reduce your dependency on the medicine which you take during pregnancy.
Your doctor will take the following things into consideration at the time of discussing the medicines which you can take at the time of pregnancy:
- Inhaled medicines are mostly preferred as they offer the expected results at the earliest, and only the small amounts of dose will enter your bloodstream.
- Time -tested medicines are recommended by doctors during the pregnancy of their patients.
- Try not to depend much on the medicines, especially when you are in the first trimester of your pregnancy as baby is developing and little bit of carelessness will affect his/her life.
- The medicines which are used during pregnancy are appropriate to use at the time of labor and after delivery as well. Even the same medicines can be given to the patients at the time of nursing as well.
In most of the cases, the asthma patients do well in the labor room and at the time of delivery as well, though the movement of the baby needs to be monitored closely. In the case of low-risk women who have controlled asthma, it is recommended that they get involved with their routine check-up. More intensive monitoring is needed for the women who complicated cases and other risk factors attached to them, especially when they are entering labor room. No matter how adverse or normal your asthma case it, it is important that women remain in good condition throughout their pregnancy. The best way to lead a normal and stress-free life during pregnancy is to strictly follow the treatment plan which as being prepared by your doctor.
Also, you doctor will also ask you to track your baby’s movements during pregnancy, in case you experience less movement than normal during asthma attacks, you need to take medical treatment at the earliest to avoid any kind of complication. You need an emergency medical care in case you are finding it difficult to breathe at the time of an asthma attack.
Can someone develop asthma during pregnancy?
Though there is no evidence supporting that asthma is developed during pregnancy. However, due to pregnancy, your asthma symptoms can get worsen and there are chances that you might not feel the chance within your body initially, but with the passage of time, you will start experiencing some changes in your body. Most of the women with asthma are aware of their asthma before conceiving and it is only with the passage of time that they start developing the symptoms related to asthma. In case your asthma is controlled, you might have posed any kind of risk to your new born baby but in case your asthma is uncontrolled, then it might prove harmful to your developing baby.
How to lower the chances of asthma attack during pregnancy?
Though preventing all asthma symptoms at the time of pregnancy is difficult; however, you can take steps to reduce the risk of an asthma attack:
- In case you are allergic, try avoid your allergens and don’t eat those food items as well that will trigger your allergic.
- Also remove all kinds of potential irritants from your home which include air fresheners, or some kind of cleaning supplies as well whose smell make you feel uncomfortable.
- Don’t sleep immediately after consuming as it will result in problems. Gastroesophageal reflux, or acid reflux are common during pregnancy and it can also boost the chances of asthma attack at the time you are pregnant.
- Don’t travel to remote areas of the world as you might not get the required medical care which you need in case you have an asthma attack.
By following the above steps, you can lower the chances of asthma attack during pregnancy and can also help in lowering the risk of complications during pregnancy. Prepare an asthma plan by talking to your doctor and follow it strictly to avoid the chances of triggering of Asthma. Don’t forget to inform your doctor about the kind of changes which you are undergoing at the time of pregnancy which in turn will help your doctor to prepare your asthma treatment plan accordingly. You can enjoy a healthy pregnancy in case you follow your doctor advise and can take care of your unborn baby as well.