Pregnancy asthma is a common medical condition affecting many expecting mothers in the United States. It is a respiratory disorder that involves an overreaction of the immune system to certain allergens. The end result is that these mothers have trouble breathing.
This is a serious ailment that cannot be taken lightly. Even if you have had asthma all of your life, the hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect you differently.
And this can be a dangerous situation for your baby. But with right plan you can avoid potential problems.
Asthma Can Be Dangerous To A Growing Baby
When it comes to pregnancy asthma, it is very important to monitor the condition of your growing baby. The symptoms that you feel such as wheezing and shortness of breath can affect the oxygen that is available for your baby. If there is a lack of oxygen to the growing baby there is an increased risk of cerebral palsy, growth restriction or even death.
A Medical Team Provides The Best Care
For the safety of both mother and baby, it is important to have a medical team who is involved throughout the pregnancy. An asthma doctor can watch your symptoms and your obstetrician can tell you if there is potential harm to the baby. Both should be consulted if there is any change at all, even if the change is for the better. Your doctor will use either spirometry or a peak flow meter to measure your lung function.
Second Trimester: What To Expect
During the second trimester, your doctor will order ultrasounds to measure your baby's growth. If there is a change in your condition, your doctor may prescribe follow-up additional ultrasounds around 32 weeks gestation to monitor the health of your baby.
Throughout your pregnancy, self-monitoring is very important in monitoring the condition of the baby. After 28 weeks gestation, you should monitor fetal movements daily. If the baby is active then you know that he or she is getting enough oxygen. Even with additional ultrasounds you should pay attention to how your body feels and you will know if there are any problems. If you fell less kicking then you should call your doctor immediately.
Third Trimester … Almost There
Throughout the third trimester, your doctor will continue to evaluate your baby on a weekly basis. If there are any problems such as chest pain or labored breathing, you and your baby will be monitored more closely. You may need additional testing or an adjustment in your medication.
Since this period is toward the end of your pregnancy, you may feel anxious. But you should find comfort in the fact that your baby’s lungs are almost fully developed and he or she is ready for the world.
Call Your Doctor If Your Symptoms Get Worse
If your symptoms get worse, your doctor will examine you closely to see if it is part of the pregnancy or worsening of asthma. Believe it or not, certain hormones called prostaglandin can cause you to pant and have shortness of breath.
The growing baby will also push up on your abdominal cavity and prevent you from breathing. The problem with pregnancy asthma is that there is no cure. You may feel uncomfortable for the rest of the pregnancy. But the good news is that as long as your baby continues to grow, this does not have to be concern.
Asthma Management Is The Key To A Symptom-Free Pregnancy
There should be no fear in becoming pregnant if your symptoms are under control. Carefully consider how well your asthma is managed before getting pregnant. If it is not well managed, work with your doctor to ensure a healthy and successful pregnancy.
Most people find fewer problems with breathing problems when they find an asthma management plan that really works. Read The SAFE Asthma Treatment Guide and discover the four steps to controlling asthma. With a little help from your doctor and the right plan of action, you can control your wheezing and coughing so that you can breathe easier.