Asthma and pregnancy

Asthma and pregnancy

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Asthma in pregnancy is a common condition even if the mother did not have this disease before pregnancy. During pregnancy, asthma affects the mother, but at the same time reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the fetus.

Asthma is a disease that affects the airways, characterized by a temporary limitation of the space of communication with the lungs. These narrow regions do not allow air to pass. Symptoms include difficulty in breathing, coughing and dizziness.

If you have asthma when you are pregnant it does not necessarily mean that the pregnancy will be more difficult for the girl or for you. If you keep this condition under control by the right medication you will have a low risk or no risk pregnancy.

Modern medicine allows many of the medicines given during pregnancy for asthma to have no adverse effects on the fetus. After many years of research, specialists have come to the conclusion that it is much safer to continue administering drugs that control the disease than to discontinue treatment.

What do you risk if you don't treat yourself?

If you have not had asthma before becoming pregnant, the appearance of symptoms such as dyspnea (difficult breathing) or wheezing (noisy breathing specific to asthma attacks) should trigger an alarm signal. If the disease was present before pregnancy, pay attention to the symptoms.

If asthma is not controlled there is a risk complications such as:

  • high blood pressure;

  • preeclampsia;

  • vomiting, early onset and in a larger quantity than normal;

  • labor does not start naturally (it is caused by a gynecologist) and can be complicated.

Among the risks to which you subject your fetus are:

  • death at birth (perinatal mortality);

  • abnormally slow development of the fetus (intrauterine growth retardation); low birth weight;

  • the birth before the 37th week of pregnancy (premature birth).

Careful! The better the disease is controlled, the lower the risks.


The care of the asthma in pregnancy is identical to that of the woman who is not pregnant. Like all asthma patients, you must benefit from treatment and monitoring to control inflammation, to prevent and control acute episodes of asthma.

Pregnancy monitoring with asthma should also include observation of fetal movements. This can be done by tracking if fetal movements decrease over time. If, during an acute episode, the fetal activity decreases, the specialist doctor should be contacted urgently or requested rescue.

In the treatment of asthma in pregnancy you must consider the following:

  • if more specialist doctors are involved in pregnancy care and asthma treatment, they must communicate with each other about the treatment; the obstetrician must be involved in the treatment of asthma;

  • lung function should be carefully monitored throughout pregnancy to ensure that the fetus receives sufficient oxygen; because the severity of the disease changes during pregnancy in about two thirds of the pregnancies, it is advisable for the mother to consult a specialist doctor to monitor the symptoms and lung function; the specialist doctor will use either spirometry or peak-flow meter to evaluate the functioning of the lungs;

  • fetal movements should be monitored daily after the 28th week of pregnancy;

  • after week 32 of pregnancy, ultrasound will be used to monitor fetal growth if asthma is not well controlled or moderate or severe asthma symptoms are present; ultrasound examinations can help the specialist doctor examine the fetus after an asthma attack;

  • it is advisable to avoid the triggering factors of the seizures (cigarette smoke or dust) so that the pregnant woman will be given as few drugs as possible; many pregnant women have symptoms in the nose and there may be a connection between their intensity and asthmatic episodes; gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, which is a common pregnancy disorder, can trigger a bout of asthma;

  • it is important to protect the pregnancy against the flu; for this purpose, flu vaccination is indicated before the cold season (October - mid-November) regardless of the age of pregnancy; the flu vaccine is only effective for one year; it has no risks for pregnancy and is recommended for all pregnant women.

Asthma and allergies in pregnancy

Many pregnant women with asthma also have allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis. Allergy treatment is an important part of asthma control.

Treatment of asthma combined with allergies It includes:

  • inhaled corticosteroids given in optimal doses - are effective and can be used by the pregnant woman;

  • antihistamines such as loratadine or cetirizine;

  • Allergic vaccination - if the pregnant woman received the allergy vaccines before becoming pregnant, they may be continued, but their administration cannot be started during pregnancy;

  • the specialist doctor should be consulted regarding the use of decongestants taken orally; there may be better treatment options.

Asthma at birth
Asthma attacks are quite rare at birth. Their treatment includes inhalers that can be used during labor. If the woman needs steroids (Prednisone), then they will be injected intravenously.

Tags Pregnancy disorders


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