Tips for tackling asthma during pregnancy

By Ritu Singh | Last Updated: Feb 19, 2014, 10:21 AM IST

Nothing can be as dreadful as suffering from an asthma attack during pregnancy. A pregnant lady, as it is, goes through a lot of bodily and hormonal changes. Having an asthma attack during this period can seriously be the worst nightmare.

Now, according to the National Asthma Education Group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), asthma is one of the most common diseases that can complicate a pregnancy.

So,it is advisable to be observant and careful of your health if you want a happy pregnancy. Identify any sort of early asthma symptoms and don't ignore them as it can later become very troublesome for you and can bring about a risk for the baby's health as well.

If the asthma becomes uncontrolled then it can lead to further complications like oxygen deprivation for the baby, morning sickness, vaginal bleeding, high blood pressure and protein in the urine after 20 weeks of pregnancy (preeclampsia), restricted fetal growth, complicated labor, need for a C-section, premature birth, low birth weight.All in all,the baby's life will be in great danger.

Follow these tips to tackle asthma during pregnancy:

-A perfectly good exercise for women suffering from asthma is swimming. Using an inhaled bronchodilator ten minutes before you exercise may help you better tolerate your recommended exercise during pregnancy.

-It is advisable for the pregnant women who have asthma to get their condition monitored on a regular basis. A check-up once in three weeks is recommended by expert doctors worldwide.

-The lung function also should be carefully monitored throughout the pregnancy to ensure that your growing foetus gets enough oxygen.

-Keep a check on your environment. Make very sure that you avoid asthma triggers and inducers. This is the most important thing to be kept in mind during pregnancy.

-Get extra protection against the flu. Get the flu vaccine as soon as it's available, whether you are in your first, second, or third trimester at the time.The flu vaccine is safe in pregnancy and is recommended for all pregnant women.

-Don't even think of smoking. A pregnant woman who smokes is at very high risk of having a severe asthma episode at some time in the pregnancy. This could seriously reduce the oxygen supply to the foetus. Infants are 3 times more likely to die of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) if their mothers smoked during or after pregnancy. Also avoid second-hand smoke.

(Compiled by: Ritu Singh)