Asthma in pregnancy is a risk disease for both the fetus and the mother. It is estimated that between three and six percent of the world's population has the disease, which makes it a very frequent picture.
Asthma consists of an obstruction of the smallest parts of the airway. The obstruction causes difficulty in performing respiratory mechanics, especially for expiration. This obstruction is based on the inflammation of the small bronchi.
Among pregnant women, asthma is the most frequent chronic disease. According to statistics, Between four and seven percent of pregnant women have complications associated with asthma at some time during pregnancy. Although during the time of delivery it is very unlikely to manifest.
The worst time usually occurs between the seventeenth and twenty-fourth weeks of pregnancy. This is at the end of the second quarter. The largest number of pregnant women consultations in emergency services have been registered at that time. On the contrary, the smallest number of consultations for this reason are located in the last month before delivery.
Consequences of asthma in pregnancy
If the asthmatic pregnant woman is not properly controlled, complications may arise in her health and that of the fetus. The key situation is the lack of oxygen. The mother's oxygen circulating in her blood is what she shares with her baby, and the decrease in your income will affect both.
Asthma in pregnancy is capable of causing in the mother:
- Hyperemesis gravidarum: It is the appearance of intense vomiting and for a long time. It is not the typical morning nausea of the first trimester. Here the episodes are frequent and cause weight loss.
- Preeclampsia: It is also called toxemia of pregnancy. It is a syndrome where the mother's blood pressure increases, edema is caused by fluid retention and there is loss of protein in the urine – proteinuria.
- Gestational hypertension: is the increase in blood pressure in pregnant women.
- Premature delivery: Although it is not common for asthma symptoms to appear during the time of delivery, labor can be advanced due to asthma.
Preeclampsia is one of the complications of asthma in pregnancy. It carries important risks, so it must be intervened on time.
And in the baby, pregnancy asthma can cause:
- Intrauterine growth retardation: the constant lack of sufficient oxygen causes the fetus to grow more slowly, being able to be smaller than expected for its gestational age.
- Low birth weight: associated with intrauterine growth restriction, it is a baby who arrives at the time of delivery without sufficient weight.
- Neonatal hypoxemia: at the time of delivery, the baby may have an insufficient supply of oxygen that causes him to be born with symptoms of lack thereof. It will require intensive neonatal assistance with an external oxygen supplement.
- Increase in perinatal mortality: if asthma in pregnancy is not controlled, the risks of death of the baby increase.
To continue reading: 13 factors that can cause premature delivery
Asthma medications during pregnancy
During pregnancy it is important to choose with the medical professional what medications can be consumed, according to the needs. Not all medications are safe for the mother and the baby. Because medical advice is essential.
For asthma, most medications have proven not to be harmful to the pregnant woman. It is actually assumed that an uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy is more dangerous than the possible adverse effects of the medications used.
In some asthmatic people desensitization injections are used for allergies, in order to reduce episodes of asthmatic crisis. If the pregnant woman started these injections before becoming pregnant, then she should continue them. But its onset is contraindicated once pregnancy is established.
Once the delivery is completed there are no problems for the woman to breastfeed. It's more, asthmatics who have been mothers recently are encouraged not to abandon medication while practicing breastfeeding.
Keep informing yourself: Medicines compatible with breastfeeding
How to prevent complications
There are basic measures that women with asthma in pregnancy can take to reduce the risks. This is always accompanied by professional advice and appropriate medication that doctors will define.
A fundamental recommendation is to get away from the cigarette and its smoke. Smoking worsens asthma attacks and can trigger serious complications in the mother and fetus.
We tell you what these preventive measures are:
- No Smoking: Tobacco complicates and worsens asthma, in addition to increasing the risk of congenital syndromes in the fetus.
- Control the triggers: Asthma responds as an acute crisis to certain substances that are best avoided. We can name the environments with dust or dust, cigarette smoke and the fur of some animals.
- Respect control queries: pregnant asthmatic women require more intensive control with doctors than those scheduled for a normal risk pregnancy.
- Take medications in a timely manner: according to the medical indication, schedules and presentations must be respected. Never self-medicate in these circumstances.
- Be alert to the warning signs: The doctor will provide the pregnant woman with a list of symptoms that, if they appear, indicate the need to consult quickly. These symptoms are usually shortness of breath, intense coughing and chronic fever, among others.
- Control gastroesophageal reflux: it is common for pregnant women to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease. The problem is that reflux can intensify asthma symptoms. Therefore, homemade measures should be taken, such as raising the head of the bed, separating daily meals into more small parts and delaying bedtime, allowing two or three hours after dinner to avoid foods that trigger reflux.
Asthma in pregnancy carries considerable risks in both the mother and the fetus. Therefore, if it occurs, It is important to consult the doctor and follow the recommended treatment. In addition, it is convenient to be aware of any symptoms that indicate a complication.