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How does asthma affect you if you’re pregnant?

Asthma does not affect your chances of getting pregnant and you will be likely to have a normal pregnancy.

You may find that your asthma symptoms get worse during your pregnancy and you may need extra check ups throughout, or you may notice no changes at all - it really varies from person to person.

If your symptoms do get worse, it’s most likely to happen during your second and third trimester. You’re also more likely to experience increased flare-ups if you already suffer from severe asthma.

If you’re feeling worried about your asthma or you are worried about how your asthma will be affected by pregnancy, it is best to speak to someone about it. Our doctors are here to provide help and support.

Do asthma treatments differ in pregnancy?

The treatment for your asthma will usually remain the same as before you got pregnant. Your current inhalers are normally considered safe to use while pregnant. You should speak to a doctor or your asthma nurse if you become pregnant or you plan on trying for a baby.

You will need extra support during your pregnancy and at the birth to reduce the risk of having an asthma attack and to make sure your symptoms are managed properly.

If you are finding your asthma is getting worse during your pregnancy, a doctor will be able to review your treatment to see if something else would be more effective.

You may need more regular check ups than normal to make sure your symptoms are still under control. Poorly controlled asthma in pregnancy increases the risk of a premature birth or your baby having a low birth weight, so it’s important to try to keep it under control as best you can.

Do asthma treatments differ in pregnancy?

Your symptoms won’t harm your baby or pose a risk to the pregnancy. However, evidence suggests that if both parents have asthma, it’s more likely that your baby will too.

It’s important to continue taking your asthma medication throughout your pregnancy. Doing so poses no risk to your baby.

Asthma medication is perfectly safe provided you stick to the dosage outlined by your doctor. Avoiding triggers wherever possible will also help keep symptoms under control.

Is there a risk to your baby?

Even if your asthma has got worse during your pregnancy, studies suggest that any problems should have died down by week 36. You shouldn’t experience any asthma-related issues when the baby arrives.

It’s unusual for asthma to flare up while you’re giving birth. During labour, your body produces hormones that contain natural steroids that will keep symptoms under control. In the unlikely event you do have trouble breathing or start coughing, it’s safe to use your reliever inhaler. Make sure you keep it close to hand, just in case.

Most forms of pain relief during labour are safe. If you’re worried about your asthma symptoms, talk to a doctor beforehand. Ensure you have a clear plan in place for dealing with your asthma during labour and confirm a preferred form of pain relief.

Asthma during labour and delivery

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