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asthma and pregnancy

Asthma and Pregnancy

Many women worry about asthma management during pregnancy. Fortunately, safely managing your asthma while you are pregnant is possible.

First, schedule an appointment with your allergist.

If you don’t have one, now is a good time to find one. Though first patient appointment might take longer and be harder to schedule, it’s well worth your effort to find a good specialist.

Most allergists specialize in both asthma and allergies. Your allergist can provide reliable recommendations about managing asthma and allergies during pregnancy and are familiar with the current treatments and guidelines to optimize patient care.

Second, take only the medications that you need.

Your allergist and gynecologist should automatically send each other their consult notes. If you are not sure they are connecting, ask them to do so. This will result in more comprehensive care for you and your baby. Both physicians are key members on your healthcare team, and they want you on the minimal medication with maximum benefit.

These first two recommendations cover about half the equation.

The remaining key ingredient to successfully managing asthma during pregnancy is – don’t stop any existing treatments without first consulting a medical professional. There are many safe inhalers and medications that will help asthma and allergy management.

While it’s natural to be concerned about medications effects on an unborn child, not taking care of your health will end up doing more harm than good. You need to keep your strong lung function to provide proper oxygenation to you and your baby.

If you a require maintenance treatment to keep your lungs working well, and your physician is supportive, you should continue to take the appropriate medications. You may need to adjust your regimen, but all of this can be sorted out with your doctor’s advice.

For seasonal allergies, you may want to consider nose sprays and eye drops, as these medications are not systemic, and many nose sprays also help eye symptoms as well.

Daily sinus rinses are also a good way to keep yourself drip-free. The NeilMed sinus rinse and NetiPot rinse are very popular and effective natural treatments. You may find that you like these options enough to continue to use them after your pregnancy. They are safe to do indefinitely.

There is no reason for you to put your own health at risk, or feel so miserable with allergy symptoms that you can’t function.

Discussing a good allergy and asthma plan with a specialist is the best way to keep you and baby safe and happy.

If you don’t have a specialist, getting in to see one early on will help you breathe easier literally and figuratively. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen your allergist, it may be time to squeeze in for an annual. He or she can’t prescribe a good treatment without actually seeing you.

To borrow an analogy from the airline industry, “Place the oxygen mask on yourself first before helping small children or others who may need your assistance.”

You must take care of yourself first if you expect to have the energy to be there for others. Pregnancy is a great time to practice this lesson so you can draw on it through the days, months and years ahead!


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Julia Tarnovsky

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