Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
 

Asthma

High-Risk Pregnancy - Asthma

Asthma and pregnancy

Having asthma does not necessarily mean having a complicated pregnancy. With proper management of the asthma and appropriate medical care during the pregnancy, most women who have asthma can experience healthy pregnancies.

Asthma is probably one of the most common diseases that can complicate a pregnancy. In some cases, diagnosis of asthma is not made until a woman becomes pregnant. How asthma affects a woman during pregnancy varies, including:

Treating asthma properly during pregnancy is important. Uncontrolled asthma can lead to decreased oxygen intake for the mother, which, in turn, affects the fetus. Uncontrolled asthma can lead to any of the following complications:

Possible complications for the mother

Asthma, when not controlled, can put undue stress on the mother as well as on the fetus. Lack of oxygen will not only deprive the mother, but also the fetus. Other complications from uncontrolled asthma for the mother include:

Possible complications for the fetus

Lack of oxygen to the fetus from the mother can lead to many health problems in the fetus, including:

Are asthma medications safe to use during pregnancy?

Most asthma medications are not harmful to the fetus or to the nursing baby. In fact, uncontrolled asthma may actually put the mother and fetus at far greater risk than the medication used to control asthma. Always consult your doctor for a diagnosis and to develop a specific asthma treatment plan tailored to your individual symptoms.

How can a pregnant woman reduce the chance of having an asthma attack?

The American Lung Association recommends a pregnant woman take the following steps to reduce the risk of having an asthma attack during her pregnancy:

When should a pregnant woman with asthma seek emergency medical treatment?

Even with a proper asthma management plan in place, a pregnant woman should be aware of certain warning signs that may indicate an asthma attack, such as:

Always consult your doctor about what asthma attack warning signs to look for and when to seek emergency medical treatment.

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