Uncontrolled Asthma Poses Risks in Pregnancy
Do you have asthma? Are you planning to get pregnant? Well, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) you should get your asthma under control now!
Apparently, up to a third of female asthmatics experience more drastic asthma symptoms during pregnancy. If you currently don’t have your asthma under control, significant problems could occur just at the time when your unborn child most needs your lungs for his or her oxygen.
Decreased oxygen supply to you also means decreased oxygen to your child, and this can lead to problems with your baby’s development. One risk is low birth weight. However, uncontrolled asthma can also seriously threaten your child’s life.
The good news is that if your asthma is under control, you and your child are no more likely to suffer complications than in any other pregnancy.
So what should you do if you’re an asthmatic that’s planning to get pregnant? The AAAAI recommends that you make an appointment with an allergist or immunologist, in addition to your obstetrician or midwife. Your asthma medications may need to be changed in type or dosage over the course of your pregnancy.
Your allergist will know what treatments work the best and are safe for both you and the baby. Usually, an allergist will prescribe inhaled medications. In most cases, drugs in pill form are less desirable unless there’s no other way to control your asthma.
Keep in mind that it’s not just asthma that should get your attention during pregnancy. Allergy symptoms - such as rhinitis, sinusitis, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) - can complicate and aggravate your asthma, so get these treated as well. As expected, you should avoid anything that triggers your asthma including dust mites, pet dander, and other airborne irritants such as smoke.
News Release, May 1, 2006
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology