Pregnancy and asthma
Pregnancy can affect a woman's asthma in different ways. For around a third, symptoms may get worse, for another third, symptoms may improve, and for the rest, symptoms will remain the same.
If pregnancy is going to affect asthma, symptoms are more likely to become worse in the second and third trimesters.
If you have asthma, see your GP as soon as you known you are pregnant to help make sure it is well controlled.
What if my asthma isn't well controlled during pregnancy?
If you do not keep your asthma under control during your pregnancy, you may suffer from high blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, pre-eclampsia, and have a complicated labour. Your baby may be born prematurely, with a low birth weight. For these reasons, it is very important to keep your asthma under control during your pregnancy.
Can I continue to take my asthma medication during pregnancy?
Several scientific studies have shown that if you do not control your asthma properly during pregnancy, you are much more likely to harm both yourself and your baby than if you use appropriate medications to control your asthma.
The most appropriate thing to do is to talk to your GP or asthma specialist, who will look at how severe your asthma is and what treatment is appropriate for you while you're pregnant.
How can I reduce my asthma’s impact on my baby?
Good asthma control is the key to a successful pregnancy. To lessen the impact of your condition on your unborn baby:
- Have an asthma plan. Work with your GP, asthma nurse or asthma specialist to determine the right kind and quantity of asthma medication for you to take.
- Recognise your asthma triggers. Keep a diary of what triggers the worsening of your asthma and find ways to avoid those triggers.
- Receive coordinated care. Make sure your GP and your midwife coordinate your care.
- All pregnant women are advised to have a flu jab.
Can I take my asthma medication during labour and breastfeeding?
In general, the same asthma treatment that is appropriate when you are pregnant is appropriate when you go into labour and when you breastfeed your baby. Talk to your GP, asthma nurse or asthma specialist to make sure your asthma medication is safe to keep taking in these circumstances.