Does asthma get worse during pregnancy?

Pregnancy for the vast majority of women should be a time when they are expecting a new family member to add to the family. Asthma during pregnancy is not the most fun or exciting thing to look forward to.

For the most part asthma during pregnancy should be treated the same way it is usually treated before you fell pregnant.

During asthma pregnancy most women do find they use their inhalers more often, this is for a few reasons which shall be explained below.

Overweight exacerbates the condition

The main reason women experience more asthma symptoms when they are pregnant is due to them carrying excess weight. The excess weight usually causes you to get out of breath doing normal activities that you took for granted when you were not heavier now with your little one inside.

This generally causes most people (overweight, pregnant or larger people) in general to mouth breath. Mouth breathing is one of the major causes of asthma and is one reason why your asthma during the last four to three months of pregnancy could get worse.

Sleeping on the back

Most pregnant women also sleep on their backs when they are in the later stages of pregnancy, this is one of the worst positions to be if you have asthma. When you sleep on your back all your body weight is put onto your diaphragm, this causes most people to mouth breath, hence why people snore on their backs.

As mentioned mouth breathing accounts for roughly 90% of asthma as well as other common symptoms like crooked teeth.

When you combine the weight of being pregnant and also sleeping on your back, your asthma bouts at night could get worse. This will make you wake up more in the middle of the night and also usually make you use your inhaler more throughout the day.

What causes an attack?

Asthma triggers during pregnancy will usually be the same as normal. Some women do find they get ill during pregnancy or become weaker, this could cause your immune system to become weaker and as a result, you could be more prone to asthma triggers, this is usually rare but it could happen.

There are some women who claim that their asthma got better during pregnancy, this could be due to a number of reasons, perhaps being more relaxed, being happier (mood does play a role on asthma as it affects our breathing), then other women experience no difference in their asthma conditions at all.

A thunderstorm can cause an asthma attack in pregnant women! Find out how you can deal with this condition quickly and safely for an unborn baby. As you know, during rain, asthmatics become easier to breathe. However, this does not apply to a thunderstorm. During a thunderstorm, allergens do not precipitate but only concentrate on the air, also electrifying. Such “hyperactive” allergens carried by the wind often lead people with asthma to the emergency room. Therefore, patients diagnosed with atopic bronchial asthma should use their inhalers and be prepared for an exacerbation during a thunderstorm.

You should try to avoid taking two asthma inhalers such as the prevented medication and the reliever medication while pregnant.

They are not good because the studies show there is an increase in the number of deaths when combining these two inhalers.

You should know that avoiding triggers is a very wise decision when you have asthma and even more so when you are pregnant, you should not be around smokers or anything like that (it makes sense why) and try to avoid as good as you can overly pollinate areas when you are pregnant.

Say No to processed foods

Mothers who eat nutritious food will generally have better-improved asthma conditions more so than those who simply eat junk food such as crisps, chocolate, etcThere is a direct link between processed foods and asthma. Where processed foods have been introduced into far off cultures who once ate only living nutritious foods, asthma rates jump through the roof.

In fact, two things immediately become apparent when our food is processed:

– Diabetes rates increase.

– Asthma rates increase.

When you have asthma during pregnancy the worst thing you can do for your disease and for your infant is to eat processed foods.

Avoiding asthma attacks is your main goal and even more so during pregnancy asthma. You should do your best to control the food that you eat and the way you breathe.

Food accounts for roughly 30-40% of your asthma symptoms. Most people that have asthma usually find that after eating anything too cold, such as ice cream, or something too spicy as well as most dairy products cause their chests to become tight and wheezy.

Many mothers tend to drink plenty of mild during pregnancy for calcium, yet the milk will cause your asthma attacks to increase, you can get as much if not more calcium from other living foods than you can get from milk.

By simply having the correct diet, you could have improved asthma conditions.

There are two schools of mothers.

– Mothers who eat what they want, when they want and as much as they want and say it’s because they are pregnant and craving. These are women who are just using pregnancy as an excuse to eat and fill their faces with as much food as they want.

They usually complain they cannot get the weight off themselves afterward and that pregnancy makes you fat. Hint, it wasn’t the pregnancy darling, it was the junk food you were eating.

In addition to being overweight, leading to worsening asthma, junk food contains many dietary supplements that are aggressive triggers of asthmatic attacks. In general, you should think about how much you eat, it is important not only for you but also for the health and life of your child!

What are some risks to the mother of uncontrolled asthma?

The most commonly reported one is preeclampsia, which is a blood pressure problem that can be very serious during pregnancy. Other ones have been reported as well, including vaginal bleeding, excessive vomiting during pregnancy, pre-term labor and, unfortunately, the very severe outcome is actually maternal death during pregnancy.

How often do these complications happen?

The usual incidence, for example of preclampsia, is about 7%. It appears that asthmatic patients may have about a doubling of that risk- it may occur in 14% of the asthmatic population. It is important to remember that for most of these risks, the problem appears to be less when the asthma is well controlled.

Are these risks to the fetus common?

Fetal deaths appear in up to 1% of all births. For pregnant women with asthma, it would appear that there’s about a 30%-50% increased chance. So the risk in a patient with fairly severe asthma would be somewhere around 1.3% to 1.5% compared to the baseline risk of 1% in the general population.

Do these risks decrease if asthma is controlled during pregnancy?

Even severe asthma, if it’s well-controlled, probably doesn’t increase most of these risks, particularly the risks for the baby. So there’s just no question that control of asthma makes a difference.

Is it safe to take asthma medications during pregnancy?

One of the most important aspects of dealing with asthma during pregnancy is to try to make sure that the benefits of what we do outweigh the risks. And this important issue of balancing benefits and risks certainly comes up in terms of making decisions during pregnancy.

One of the difficulties is that we don’t really know as much about the risks of medicines as we would like. But most of the information that does exist suggests that virtually all the commonly used asthma medicines -at least the ones that have been around for a while-are not associated with inordinate risk. And if we balance that against the fairly definite risk of uncontrolled asthma-either to the mother or the baby or both-it definitely appears the risk of uncontrolled asthma is greater than the risk of the asthma medications.

How do you know if your asthma is well controlled?

Surprisingly, that hasn’t necessarily been as well-defined. But what women need to understand is that they should not have symptoms more than once or twice a week; it’s not bothering their sleep at night any more than once or twice a month, and they’re not needing a rescue inhaler every day. And ideally, they’re not having episodes that take them to the emergency room. Along with breathing tests that help confirm that the person’s lungs are working as well as possible, all of those are the type of control goals that one would have, and they are particularly important during pregnancy.

So you should work with an asthma specialist, along with the obstetrician, because specialists working with the patient have the best chance of making sure that the asthma is going to be as well controlled as possible with the safest type of therapy. In addition, another very important aspect of managing asthma during pregnancy is for the woman herself to be educated about her asthma; what she’s taking and why, and to be able to communicate to her physician when things aren’t going well.

This article is written by Carl Lawyer, M.D. pulmonology and sleep medicine specialist, a general practitioner who provides a wide range of services for the treatment of lung diseases and sleep disorders. Dr. Carl Lawyer graduated from medical school at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, Colorado. He is available for inpatient and outpatient consultation on a variety of pulmonary-related issues, including acute and chronic respiratory failure, asthma, lung cancer, and COPD.

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