How do I control asthma during pregnancy?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

While asthma is very common during pregnancy (for both people who have it beforehand and people who develop it during pregnancy), you can control it during pregnancy with little effect, if any, on the fetus. (If you don't control it, you increase your risk of developing high blood pressure and placental issues.)

There are asthma medications that are considered safe to take during pregnancy, and if you have asthma or asthma-like symptoms (lots of wheezing and coughing), you should make sure to communicate that with all your doctors, so they can help determine which medication line is best for you. Some steps you can take to help avoid asthma attacks:

  1. Quit smoking.
  2. Avoid having large meals if you're prone to developing reflux (and even if you aren't).
  3. Take sanitary precautions, especially around people with the cold or flu.
  4. Be aware of things you're allergic to, and avoid them. Same goes for other contaminants, irritants and things that trigger asthma symptoms for you (like a certain type of exercise perhaps).
YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

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YOU: Having a Baby: The Owner's Manual to a Happy and Healthy Pregnancy

Can I get a cavity filled while pregnant? Will avoiding spicy foods make my kid a picky eater? Can I really increase my baby's IQ while she's in utero? Whether you're pregnant for the first time, are trying to start your family, or already have enough children to start your own basketball team, you're bound to have questions about what it means to be pregnant -- and how you can increase your odds of having a healthy and happy pregnancy. But no matter how much you've read, watched, studied, or talked about this amazing biological journey, you have never read anything like this. In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Michael Roizen and Dr. Mehmet Oz act as mythbusters for the hundreds of questions surrounding pregnancy in the same scientific, informative, and entertaining ways that have made them America's Doctors. In these pages, you'll learn everything you need to know about the miracles of fetal development, your health throughout the pregnancy, and providing the best possible environment for your growing child. Pregnancy is a complicated balancing act, but it doesn't have to be frightening. The doctors will help you de-stress as they describe accurately and rationally what happens during a thrilling nine months of life. While every pregnant body is different, odds are you'll experience some of the cravings, crying, and discomfort that almost all women go through. Your best tactic? Learn why these things are happening -- and what you should do about them. YOU: Having a Baby will teach you everything you need to know about what to eat (should I be eating for two?), how much to exercise, and what guilty pleasures will actually make pregnancy easier on you (and the loved ones who get to be around you for the whole thing). Each phase of pregnancy has different challenges, but the right information will prepare you for what's ahead. The interactive week-by-week calendar inside provides an even more detailed guideline for how and what you should feel through every step of the process. Exciting, cutting-edge scientific research in the fi eld of epigenetics has changed the way the medical profession looks at pregnancy, and now it can change your perspective, too. Epigenetics explores what makes us develop in certain ways -- why some people thrive at math while others are prone to chronic diseases. It turns out that there are easy things you can do that will not just help your baby's development in utero but will actually improve his or her chances of living a healthy, fulfi lling adult life. Filled with recipes for nutritious, satisfying snacks and meals even Pop can cook (yes, he can!), safe exercises for staying fit, and tons of YOU tips that will help you stay comfortable, YOU: Having a Baby is the ultimate guidebook for what to do from the moment of conception to the weeks after your child has arrived home. From morning sickness and food cravings to choosing a doctor and changing a diaper, YOU: Having a Baby will give you the real scoop about what's in store for you during this amazing time in your life.

It's very important for asthma to be under control in pregnancy, because if the patient is not getting enough oxygen, then the baby is not getting enough oxygen as well. There are risks to babies of moms who do have asthma and who do not control their asthma well, such as growth restrictions and preterm labor. It is really important that a woman gets her asthma under control. Prior to pregnancy would be preferable.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.