Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

Editorial Board: Dr.Kamini Silvarajan MD/AAAM

To Treat or Not To Treat: The Truth behind Asthma Treatment during Pregnancy

pregnant women inhaled

Bronchial Asthma is the most common problem that affects the lungs during the course of pregnancy. Approximately, 8% of pregnant mothers suffer from asthma attack. Several mothers are worried because of the physiologic changes in their body that may interact to this condition or how asthma can affect the developing fetus. However, with prompt treatment pregnant mother can have normal respiratory rate, uncomplicated pregnancy and able to deliver a normal and healthy baby.

This simply tells everybody that unmanaged asthma during pregnancy has greater risk of getting complications compare to those pregnant mother who are taking medications to treat and control the condition.

Therapy related to asthma during pregnancy has the most efficient outcome if the pregnant mother avails regular interventions and practices. In cases where women have asthma before becoming pregnant, they need to discuss their condition with the obstetrician. They need to understand the purpose of taking medications for asthma and change their misconception about stopping the regimen due to their belief that it can harm the baby.

The severity of asthma during the course of pregnancy depends on the condition of the pregnant mother. Unluckily, it is hard to identify the extent of the condition that may follow in a mother's first pregnancy. Below are the commonly reported patterns regarding asthma attack during pregnancy:

1. The peak of asthma attack is displayed between 29th and 36th week of gestation ;

2. The condition becomes less prominent during the last month of gestation;

3. The course of labor and delivery do not influence the severity of asthma;

4. Improving asthma during pregnancy may gradually progress throughout the course of gestation;

5. The clinical manifestations of asthma during the first pregnancy will similarly occur on the upcoming pregnancies.

Factors related to asthma attack during pregnancy may either reduce or induce the risk of recurrence. However, there are no significant studies that could support the influences of these factors because there is no consistency of cases that affect the women all throughout the pregnancy period. 

These factors could actually occur before or during the course of pregnancy. It depends on how the mother copes with their condition. Ideally, pregnant mothers should always perform regular maternal check-up including consultation with the specialist for respiratory cases.

The asthma attack will most likely to occur between 17th and 24th weeks of gestation. The etiology (cause) of this pattern is unexplainable except for cases where pregnant women failed to manage their condition properly. This may increase their susceptibility (chance) to suffer from asthma attack.

Pregnant mother with asthma has tendency to suffer from the complications of pregnancy. Although the rationale behind this is unknown, but it could deliberately offset pregnant women without asthma. Below are the common pregnancy complications that might occur to pregnant mother with unmanaged asthma.

2. Premature deliver (delivers baby between 7 to 8 months of gestation);

3. Possible cesarean delivery;

4. The baby has low birth weight.

Moreover, babies of pregnant mother with asthma do not have serious complications of it the condition is managed properly. Therefore, it is a must that pregnant mother should remain focus with their pregnancy and condition. They need not to worry about the effects of medications for asthma because undoubtedly it does not place the developing baby at risk.

- By Edter