Every expectant mother wants the best for the little miracle growing inside her belly. The right nutrients, the perfect environment and an ample supply of oxygen would likely top this list. Asthma, however, can sometimes get in the way of a perfectly synchronised pregnancy.
A chronic inflammatory condition that can increase the sensitivity of the tracheobronchial tree in the airways, asthma affects a sizeable number of pregnant women, many of whom have never even had the condition before. The trouble is, asthmatic symptoms can affect you and your baby in equal measure. By limiting the oxygen supply into your body, your foetus may not get an adequate amount of oxygen. But although the condition can ring alarm bells in your head, if controlled well, it may have no bearing on the health of your little baby.
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You may have a normal pregnancy as you would have had if you hadn’t developed asthma while pregnant since the majority of regular asthma treatments are conducive for pregnant women. It’s all about how well you remedy the condition at the outset.
Gestational asthma can creep up on you when you least expect it. In fact, you may not even read too much into the wheezing attacks and bouts of breathlessness that you sometimes experience. Alternatively, if you have been diagnosed with asthma in the past, you may think your symptoms are ordinary, routine even. The truth is, asthma can trap the oxygen supply that flows to your baby, potentially leading to some serious complications during pregnancy.
Here are some of the risks that asthma can hurl at you:
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Remedying wheezing during pregnancy follows much the same approach as a regular asthma treatment. When you suspect that you may have developed asthma, schedule an appointment with your gynaecologist, who will draw up a gestational asthma treatment plan. With the right medication, you can help regulate inflammation, coughing and wheezing during pregnancy.
You should also chart your baby’s activity in response to asthmatic attacks. For example, if you find that your baby’s kicks become gentler or reduce with the onset of wheezing or coughing, reach out to your doctor right away to safeguard yourself and your baby against pregnancy complications.
1. Ensure Seamless Communication Between Your Doctors
It is possible that your obstetrician will put you through to a pulmonologist if your symptoms become severe. While your doctors will most likely be in sync with each other, it is important that you disclose the full extent of your progress to both, when you meet them. Clue them in about each other’s consultations to make sure that everybody is on the same page.
2. Ensure Regular Checkups
The degree of severity of gestational asthma differs from woman to woman. That’s why it is important that you schedule monthly checkups to let your doctor gauge how well your baby is growing. During these checkups, your lungs will be examined to determine how much oxygen is being absorbed. This will shed light on whether your baby is receiving enough oxygen. After you cross the 28-week mark, you should also assess your baby’s activity on a daily basis.
3. Avoid Exposure to Triggers
There are certain elements that can exacerbate the symptoms of asthma. Avoid passive smoking and exposure to dust and pollution to alleviate the effects of asthma. In turn, you may be able to better the condition on your own, reducing the need for medication. With the right treatment plan, your baby may not be affected by the onset of asthma. It is important that you detect it early and consult a doctor who can guide you through your pregnancy in light of your condition. With the right medical intervention, you and your baby can thrive. And both can finally breathe easy.