Although only about 10 percent of women of childbearing age have allergies, and about 4 to 8 percent have asthma, both of these are problems that often cause pregnancy complications. If you are one of them, you might be wondering how the condition of allergies or asthma during pregnancy, plus the asthma medication that you usually use, will affect the baby in the womb.
For those of you who have congenital or allergic asthma, you need to be careful. Uncontrolled asthma symptoms during pregnancy can cause serious problems not only for the fetus, but also for yourself.
Fortunately, there are many safe ways to relieve complaints of allergic sneezing and shortness of breath due to asthma during pregnancy without harming your fetus. read more to know how.
What is the effect of asthma in pregnancy?
Unless you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylactic) that can interfere with airflow during pregnancy, your baby may not be affected at all. As long as asthma stays well controlled, it should also not affect the health of the womb.
Which will be a problem if the symptoms of asthma during pregnancy are not controlled. This can cause serious maternal complications, including high blood pressure, toxemia, preeclampsia, preterm birth, and in rare cases: death. As for infants, complications from uncontrolled asthma include an increased risk of stillbirth, fetal growth delay, preterm birth, low birth weight, and a low Apgar score at birth.
The fetus gets oxygen from your blood. Because the fetus needs uninterrupted oxygen supply for the normal growth process, managing asthma symptoms is very important to allow you and your baby to get enough oxygen. Therefore, do not stop your asthma medication unless the doctor suggests otherwise. The risk of stopping the drug will far outweigh the potential risks for your baby.
Is it safe to use asthma medication while pregnant?
Fortunately, most asthma medications during pregnancy are considered safe, including inhaled drugs containing terbutalin, albuterol, prednisone, and theophylline - so you may not have to stop the medication you are currently using. If possible, avoid oral steroids during the first trimester.
However, severe asthma that cannot be controlled with inhalation drugs may need to use oral steroids, such as prednisone, until symptoms can be controlled. The risks associated with oral steroid use are more manageable than potential risks due to the severity of severe asthma symptoms, which can include maternal or fetal death. Your doctor may reduce your steroid dose gradually over time to see if your asthma symptoms improve.
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Overall, your treatment plan will be designed according to your medical conditions and needs so that the potential benefits of the drug will outweigh the potential risks of uncontrolled drugs or asthma.
Are the drugs used for other allergies also safe?
Some minor birth defects have been associated with certain antihistamines and decongestants in several studies, but the results of the study have not been consistent.
Oral antihistamines, such as cetirizine, chlorpheniramine, diphenhydramine, fexofenadine, and loratadine appear to be safe. Likewise, Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom) nasal spray and Rhinocort steroid spray, but consult your doctor before using. The advantage of nasal sprays is that they only focus on your nose, so the drug does not spread throughout your body. Making nasal medicine (through the nose) is a good choice for pregnant women.
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During the first trimester, do not use oral decongestants. Oral decongestants may make the risk of some birth defects more likely. Also be aware of antihistamines that are combined with decongestants. If you need a decongestant, many doctors recommend oxymetazoline - available in nasal spray or drops, such as Afrin. But this drug should be used in mild doses and no more than 3 days at a time to prevent symptoms from worsening.
Are allergy injections safe during pregnancy?
Yes, you can continue to get allergy shots when you are pregnant. However, do not start allergic injections during pregnancy because of the greater risk of anaphylaxis along with the increase in injection dose and delay in effectiveness of the drug for several months after the first injection. Wait until after you give birth to your baby.
Allergic injections can continue during pregnancy in patients who have no side effects. These reactions are rare; However, it can be dangerous for the fetus. It may be appropriate to reduce the dose to further reduce the possibility of an allergic reaction to injections. Your doctor can increase your dose only after giving birth.
Are there other ways to prevent symptoms of allergies and /or asthma during pregnancy?
Symptoms may not be completely prevented, but you can reduce the frequency by limiting contact with allergens. You might want to stay away from home pets for a while; wrap pillows and mattresses with anti-allergic fabric; diligently washing and drying bed equipment to kill dust mites. If you have a dust allergy, pollution or pollen, close the window and limit the time you move outside the home. You can use a neti pot or balm to relieve discomfort from a blocked nose.
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Just like allergies, the first line of your defense against asthma attacks during pregnancy is to avoid exposure to asthma triggers. Also, reduce exposure to common allergens, and make sure to stop smoking and /or avoid exposure to cigarette smoke, the trigger for other common asthma attacks.
If you are worried about sports that can make you breathe fast, pregnant women can still exercise at the same intensity as before you were pregnant - even with asthma. Of course you must always follow the advice of your doctor.