Asthma during Pregnancy
Not so long ago, 20-30 years, pregnant women with asthma often faced a negative attitude, even among doctors. Fortunately, those days are in the past. Today, doctors around the world united in their opinion, that bronchial asthma is not a counterindication for pregnancy and under no circumstances a reason for not having children.
Nevertheless, some women are still afraid of pregnancy and doubt their right to have children, others unreasonably hoping for the best stop treatment during pregnancy, considering any drugs certainly harmful during this period of their life. Asthma treatment is surrounded by an incredible amount of myths and legends, rejections and misperception. For example, a woman having increased arterial pressure does not doubt that she can have a baby, if it is treated properly. She will certainly take into account doctor prescription to limit salt consumption, to keep healthy lifestyle, she knows that she needs to take drugs to normalize arterial pressure, that she can’t cancel treatment. Planning pregnancy, a woman in advance consults her doctor which medicaments are allowed to be taken, and which are not, buys tonometer to monitor her condition. And if the disease gets out of control, she immediately asks for medical help. But when it comes to asthma, there are doubts and hesitations.
Perhaps the point is that modern methods of asthma treatment are still very young: they are a little more than 12 years old. In people’s memory times when asthma was frightening and often disabling disease are still alive. Quite recently, the treatment reduced to endless intravenous infusors, Teofedrin and tablet hormones, and uncontrolled misuse of the first inhalers often had bad consequences. Now the situation has changed, new concepts of the disease nature helped to create new drugs and disease control methods. But to succeed in treatment, joint efforts of doctors and patients are required.
At the present stage of medicine development, there are no methods that could cure people from asthma once and for all. Asthma is a disease that can’t yet be cured, but it can be controlled. During pregnancy asthma severity often changes. Approximately one third of women have asthma improvements, one third has recrudescence and one third has no changes, while during the first trimester the disease usually remains changed. But rigorous scientific analysis is less optimistic: asthma course improvements are observed only in 14 % of cases. Therefore you should not rely on this opportunity hoping that all problems will disappear by themselves. Pregnant woman and her child’s future is in her own and in her doctor’s hands.
In fact, asthma does not cause pregnancy complications and fetal development disorders. All the problems are connected not with the fact of having asthma, but with its improper control. The greatest risk for the fetus is hypoxia (lack of oxygen in blood), which is caused by the uncontrolled bronchial asthma course. In case of asthma attack, not only a pregnant woman suffers from breathing difficulties, but also a child suffers from lack of oxygen (hypoxia). This lack of oxygen may not only interfere with the normal development of the fetus, but also during vulnerable periods interrupt normal anlage. To bear a healthy baby, you need to receive treatment, appropriate for disease severity, to prevent the more frequent symptoms and the development of hypoxia.
And the prognosis for children born by mothers with well-controlled asthma is comparable to prognosis for children whose mothers did not have asthma. It is therefore necessary to treat asthma during pregnancy, avoiding asthma attacks symptoms, especially exacerbations. A pregnant woman with asthma needs more careful monitoring than before pregnancy.
Treating during pregnancy should be prescribed and monitored by a specialist individually, and any medication, even vitamins, should not be used without consulting a doctor. Training pregnant women with asthma plays an important role in treatment: asthma is one of those diseases that require patient’s understanding of disease nature and exacerbations causes, awareness, ability to properly use certain drugs and self-management skills.
Women with Bronchial Asthma should Prepare for Pregnancy
Although asthma treatment can and should be continued during pregnancy, there are many issues that need to be solved before. Drugs selection and disease control require time, meanwhile normal pregnancy course requires the most comprehensive disease monitoring. Visiting Asthma School and training may present some difficulties for pregnant women. Thus, before pregnancy a woman should:
- choose routine therapy, providing proper disease control (minimal symptoms, minimal need for medications symptomatic relieve, no exacerbations and activity restrictions, similar to the normal respiratory function indications);
- work out correct inhalation technique;
- learn to use PEF meter for self-control;
- develop an individual action plan in case of asthma attack.
All these issues are in competence of pulmonologist. And all the necessary equipment, inhalers and medications can be obtained at Canadian Pharmacy Mall online.
In case if the therapy is not chosen, teaching of inhalation techniques and self-control methods were not carried out before pregnancy, pulmonologist consultation is especially necessary.
But this is only one side of the problem relating directly to asthma treatment. The other side is allergy issues. Young people in most cases suffer from atopic asthma that is directly connected with hypersensitivity to a number of allergens. Domestic, pollen, mold, epidermal allergens are major trigger factors that contribute to disease recrudescence. Conversely, reducing or eliminating contacts with the most significant allergens can improve disease course and reduce recrudescence risk applying the same or even a smaller amount of medications, which is especially important during pregnancy.
But in order to apply necessary measures, it is necessary to know which allergens are cause-significant in this particular case. At the same time, many examination and treatment methods are difficult or even impossible to carry out when a woman is pregnant. Therefore, allergic examination should be completed before pregnancy, and then a woman should get recommendations on hypoallergenic everyday life organization from the doctor – and bring them to life.
Thus, visit pulmonologist and allergologist before planned pregnancy, undertake necessary examination, if possible, complete Asthma-school course, change your lifestyle in accordance with recommendations. The more you know about yourself and your disease, the fewer problems arise during pregnancy and after.