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Pregnancy and Asthma: How to Keep Yourself and Your Baby Safe

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When you’re carrying the newest member of your family (and the world) in your belly, you have a monumental responsibility to keep yourself and your little one safe and healthy. While no research indicates that women can develop asthma as a direct result of being pregnant, if you have asthma, you could find your symptoms worsening during your pregnancy. Ensure your OBGYN knows about your history with asthma and how you currently manage your condition so that they can provide you with additional guidance during your pregnancy. What follows are answers to some of the most common questions that pregnant mothers ask about the complications of their asthma during their pregnancy.

Does Asthma Worsen During Pregnancy?

Every woman is different. Some report worsening asthma symptoms, some report no change, and others report their symptoms improving. Monitor your symptoms closely and report any worsening to your doctor promptly.

Can Pregnant Mothers Use Asthma Medications?

Your doctor will provide you with guidance on the medications and other treatment options that you can use during your pregnancy. Most asthma medicines are generally safe during pregnancy. However, your doctor will likely tell you not to take sulfonamides during your last trimester to avoid your baby being born with jaundice. Your doctor will also likely tell you not to take any tetracyclines during your pregnancy, as they could cause skeletal or dental deformities in your baby.

Do not immediately stop taking your asthma medication when you learn you are pregnant. Talk to your doctor. An abrupt change in your medication regimen could put you and your baby at risk of a severe asthma attack.

Is it Common to Experience a Severe Asthma Attack During Delivery?

Surprisingly, asthma often improves during labor and delivery. However, if you experience an asthma attack and are delivering your baby in a hospital, your doctor and health care team will be well-prepared to address your symptoms.

Can a Mother Pass Asthma to Her Baby?

Asthma is often inherited. Therefore, if a mother or father has asthma, their child is more likely to have it than a child whose parents do not have asthma; however, it is not guaranteed that the child of a mother with asthma will certainly have the condition.

What are the Risks to a Baby Whose Mother is Pregnant?

A mother is her baby’s lifeline in every possible way. Your baby will depend on you to supply oxygen during their development, which your baby will need for survival. If your asthma is uncontrolled and you experience a dangerous decrease in oxygen, so does your baby, which could result in impaired growth or other health complications.

If you experience severe asthma, your condition may put your baby in danger. Talk to your doctor to ensure you are taking every step to control your asthma during your pregnancy.