Bronchial asthma is a chronic respiratory disease characterized by seizures with dyspnoea (difficult breathing), wheezing (specific noisy breathing) and cough; between seizures lung function is normal. Asthma is a common condition in pregnant women, even if they have not had this disease before pregnancy. During pregnancy asthma affects the mother, but at the same time reduces the amount of oxygen that reaches the fetus. However, the mother's asthma does not make the pregnancy more difficult for the baby or the mother. Proper treatment of asthma in pregnant women ensures a low or no risk pregnancy.
Most medications given in asthma have no adverse effects on pregnancy. After many years of research, specialists have come to the conclusion that it is much safer to continue taking drugs that control the disease than to stop treatment during pregnancy.
If the pregnant woman has not had asthma before becoming pregnant, symptoms such as dyspnea (difficult breathing) or wheezing (noisy breathing specific to asthma attacks) may be overlooked, delaying the diagnosis. If the disease was present before pregnancy, the presence of mild symptoms usually does not worry the pregnant woman. However, asthma can affect both the mother and the baby and should therefore be treated as such.
If bronchial asthma is not controlled there is a risk of development:
The risks of the fetus include:
The better the disease is controlled, the lower the risks.
The management of asthma in the pregnant woman is identical to that of the non-pregnant woman. Like all asthmatic patients, the pregnant woman should receive treatment and follow-up to control inflammation, to prevent and control acute asthma episodes.
Follow-up of pregnancy with asthma should also include recording of fetal movements. This can be done by tracking if fetal movements decrease over time. If, during an acute episode, the fetal activity decreases, the specialist doctor should be contacted urgently or rescue should be requested.
In the treatment of asthma in pregnant women, the following must be taken into account:
Asthma and allergies
Many pregnant women also have allergic diseases, such as allergic rhinitis. Allergy treatment is an important part of asthma management.
A review of human and animal studies on the effects of anti-asthmatic drugs given during pregnancy has led to the conclusion that there are few risks for both mother and baby. It is safer for asthma pregnant to be treated with drugs than to have uncontrolled asthma symptoms and seizures. Reduced disease control is more harmful to the fetus than anti-asthma medication. The medical specialists involved in the American National Program for the Prevention and Education of Bronchial Asthma have formulated protocols for the administration of drugs in each type of bronchial asthma (severe persistent asthma, persistent moderate asthma, mild persistent asthma, mild intermittent asthma). These will be exposed below.
Medicines are divided into preferred medicines and medicines administered as an alternative to the preferred ones.
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