The Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Asthma

During pregnancy, asthma can pose a significant health risk for both mother and baby, particularly when it is not well controlled. If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant, it’s a good idea to speak with an asthma doctor promptly. Effective asthma treatment will manage the risk of pregnancy complications.

Health Complications

Poorly controlled asthma can increase the risk of the following maternal health complications:

  • High blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia
  • Severe morning sickness
  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Complicated labor

Asthma during pregnancy can also contribute to serious health problems for the baby, including restricted fetal growth, low birth weight, and premature birth. The baby may be more likely to have a low APGAR score. In some cases, the baby’s life may be threatened.

Asthma Treatment

The potential health complications of asthma during pregnancy are certainly alarming, but the good news is that an asthma doctor can develop an effective treatment plan to manage the risk. Most asthma treatments are not known to cause harm to developing babies. In fact, doctors generally agree that the potential risks of these treatments during pregnancy are far lower than the risks of untreated asthma. The potential risks of asthma medications during pregnancy are lessened during the last two trimesters, as compared to the first trimester. Whenever possible, asthma doctors prefer to prescribe inhaled asthma medicines for pregnant patients, as inhalation does not introduce significant amounts of medication into the bloodstream.

Prenatal Care

Women with asthma may be considered to have a high-risk pregnancy. They may benefit from more frequent prenatal care check-ups. It’s preferable for the patient’s asthma specialist to coordinate her care with her obstetrician. To support a healthy pregnancy, the patient’s prenatal care can include:

  • Routine lung function monitoring
  • Daily fetal movement monitoring after 28 weeks
  • Ultrasound exams after 32 weeks

Additionally, women are strongly encouraged to avoid asthma triggers and get a seasonal flu shot.

Allergy & Asthma Specialists℠ provides sensitive, effective care for patients at every stage of life. New and current patients are invited to call 1 (800) 86-COUGH to request a visit with an asthma or allergy specialist. Our asthma specialists are conveniently located in Philadelphia, Blue Bell, King of Prussia, Jenkintown, Doylestown, Lansdale, Pottstown, and Collegeville, Pennsylvania.