The pregnancy of an asthmatic woman should go well, provided she gets good pre- and postnatal care, according to the National Jewish Center of Immuno-logy and Respiratory Medicine.
The center advises the mother-to-be to be cared for by two physicians working as a team - one to monitor her asthma and the other to monitor the pregnancy.The goal is to keep her healthy and breathing normally throughout the pregnancy, since an uncontrolled asthma attack can put both mother and baby at risk.
She should be aware of warning signs preceding an attack, so she can treat it immediately. These may include an itchy throat, cough, fatigue, nervousness, shortness of breath and tightness of the chest. The center says shortness of breath is common among pregnant women, so it's important to learn to distinguish between that which is normally expected and that caused by asthma.
While most medicines should be avoided during pregnancy, the center says, the risk may be outweighed by the need to control the asthma so that the baby's oxygen supply isn't threatened. Some medicines often used for asthma treatment may damage a fetus, so the woman should never take any medicine not prescribed.
Before labor, the woman should discuss anesthesia options with her doctors.