Asthma and pregnancy on their own are already potentially dangerous, but when the two are combined, terrible complications can occur. Adequate amounts of oxygen are essential for everyone, but particularly pregnant women, as healthy fetus and placenta development depend on it. Getting enough air just for themselves, however, is often difficult enough for women with asthma, but when they also have to provide air for another life—things can get complicated. Without the proper medical treatment, pregnant women with asthma can experience life-threatening problems, for both their babies and themselves.
How Pregnancy Can Affect Asthma
The good news is it is definitely possible to have a healthy pregnancy even when you have asthma. The bad news: your symptoms could worsen once you become pregnant. According to a recent report, about one-third of pregnant women find their asthma gets worse during pregnancy. However, one-third also stated that their asthma stayed the same, while the other third said their symptoms actually improved while pregnant.
Predicting how your asthma will react to your pregnancy is impossible. However, in general, if your asthma is severe, chances are high that it will become worse while you are with-child. If you have already been pregnant before and your asthma didn’t get worse, there’s a possibility it won’t become worse this time either.
Getting the Needed Medical Treatment
If you’re an asthma sufferer, there’s already a good chance you work with a doctor to treat your condition. Encourage your doctor and your obstetrician to collaborate to discuss medication and therapy techniques. Having your doctors work together allows everyone to stay on the same page and understand the exact type of treatment you are receiving and need. When the doctors aren’t able to work together or agree on the type of treatment required, trouble can ensue. The following are a few examples:
Medication errors. Taking any kind of medication while pregnant is already risky to begin with, but particularly during the first trimester. This is the time when medication errors can occur. A doctor may be reluctant to prescribe you medication to manage your asthma for fear of harming the baby, which could hurt you and make your condition worse. Contrarily, the doctor may prescribe medication in an effort to help you, and actually hurt the baby, instead.
Using medication that goes into the bloodstream. A majority of asthma medications are topical, meaning that they only go into the lungs and treat that area. Others, however, go into the bloodstream to reach the lungs, and also enter the baby. Not only can this type of medication cause harm to you and the baby, it could also create unwanted side effects. The doctor may make a mistake by prescribing this medication and cause harm to you and the baby. However, in an effort to be conservative, the doctor may hold off on prescribing this medication when the mother actually needs it, and put the mother’s life in jeopardy.
Unfortunately, not every asthma attack is preventable. The following steps may be able to help reduce the frequency or severity of the attacks:
Identify the trigger. If you don’t already know what your triggers are, make a point to pay attention to what you were around or what happened immediately before the episode took place. For instance, some asthma is trigged by allergens, such as mold, pet dander, second-hand smoke, and pollen. Eliminating mold in your home; not allowing your pets to come into places where you spend the most time, like your bedroom; staying away from smokers; and not going outside when the pollen count is high could stop asthma attacks before they start.
Get on board with good hygiene. Staying as healthy as possible is also helpful in preventing asthma attacks. For instance, washing your hands often and practicing other good hygiene habits could stop you from catching a cold or the flu. Additionally, getting a flu shot at the beginning of flu season could also help. Using nasal and sinus washes, along with eye drops, can also reduce the effects of allergens and potentially prevent asthma attacks.
Did Medical Malpractice Harm You or Your Baby?
Did asthma complications harm you or your unborn child? Did your doctor commit medical malpractice that caused you and your loved ones to suffer? If so, the attorneys of Tavss Fletcher may be able to help. Call 877.960.3441 to schedule your consultation and get answers to your questions and find out what we can do for you.