In this article, we will talk about asthma during pregnancy, why proper management of the condition is required, the different treatment options available, and what precautions can help.
What does asthma during pregnancy mean?
Asthma is a condition that leads to inflammation of the airways. Normally when you breathe, the air goes through your nose, to the airways, and into the lungs. Your lungs have small air passages that make it possible for oxygen distribution to other parts of the body.
When you have asthma, your airways become inflamed, swollen, and the muscles around them tighten. In addition to this, there is excess mucus in your lungs. This makes it difficult for you to breathe.
Consequently, the asthmatic symptoms that follow include shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing, and tightness in your chest.
If you get an asthma attack during pregnancy, it can come in the way of your fetus getting oxygen. This is because, during a flare-up, the blood oxygen levels also become low.
And since your fetus is getting his or her oxygen through your bloodstream, there can be a problem in this as well. In short, this situation can be fatal for you and the fetus if not treated well.
Asthma is characterized on the basis of its severity in the patient. Research suggests that asthma severity before pregnancy is related to asthma severity after pregnancy.
There are three possible case scenarios that can happen: Either your asthma worsens, your asthma improves, or it remains as it is with no change.
Symptoms of asthma during pregnancy tend to aggravate in women who suffer from severe asthma. Therefore, it is essential to take good care of your condition even before you conceive a child.
Why is proper management of asthma during pregnancy significant?
When a woman is pregnant, she tends to breathe more deeply. Because of this, her respiratory system also has to work harder. Therefore, oxygenation for both the mother and the baby becomes pivotal.
Poorly or ill-treated asthma during pregnancy can increase the risk of various medical conditions such as:
- Premature birth
- C-section delivery
- Restricted fetal growth
- Preeclampsia: A pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of organ damage.
Since pregnancy comes with its own set of hormonal changes, this also affects the respiratory system.