pregnant woman

How Does Pregnancy Affect Asthma?

Well, first of all, congratulations on your pregnancy! I have so many friends and family members that are not able to have children, that I see any pregnancy as a small miracle!

As a mom of three (all of whom inherited my allergies and asthma), I know that any pregnancy (and recovering) can be an adventure. Add a little asthma to the mix, and things can get interesting!

Doctors are learning that asthma is different for everyone. I recently heard an asthma specialist say:

"If you have seen one case of asthma...you have seen one case of asthma."

I see this in my family - my three adult children and I all have different asthma triggers and we take different inhalers for asthma.

Asthma changes during pregnancy

That can vary too. The Allergy and Asthma Foundation of America (AAFA) says:1

  • 1/3 of women will see their asthma get worse
  • 1/3 of women will see their asthma stay the same
  • 1/3 of women will see their asthma get better

Most women worry about taking medicine when they are pregnant. How will it affect my baby? Doctors know that if the mom's asthma isn't well-controlled, she has less oxygen in her blood - which means less oxygen for the baby. That could affect the baby's growth and survival.1

So, what if your asthma flares up while pregnant?

As with any other times your asthma flares up, a quick call to your doctor is needed. Avoiding your asthma triggers is important, as is looking at the inhaler you are using now. Do you need a higher dose? Different inhaler?

This asthma medication poster shows how many asthma treatments are available. Look at that rainbow of colored inhalers!

There are plenty of options out there - some are dry powder inhalers, some have a propellant. Make sure you find the right medicine for you!

Controlling asthma during delivery

Experts say being well-controlled will also help during delivery - because asthma attacks rarely happen if the mom's asthma is well-controlled. It can also make it easier for you to do breathing techniques while in labor.1

And once you deliver, AAFA says:1

"Most women with asthma whose symptoms changed in any way during pregnancy will return to their pre-pregnancy condition within three months after giving birth."

I know that pregnancies can seem to go on forever, but there is an end in sight. And isn't that cute little bundle of joy worth it?

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