Having asthma is not much fun, especially if you suffer from extreme attacks. Like any health condition, sufferers try their best to manage it and learn to live with it, as well as they can.
However if you do suffer from asthma and are hoping to become pregnant, then you’ll appreciate the wisdom of being aware and prepared. Also if you are someone who had asthma attacks so long ago that you had almost forgotten about them, then it is possible that being pregnant could trigger asthma attacks again.
Interesting Fact About Pregnancy And Asthma
Did you know that for women who suffer from asthma that once you become pregnant one third of you may actually see an improvement in your asthma symptoms? Another third will not experience any change but the remaining third will unfortunately see their symptoms deteriorate.
How To Prepare For Pregnancy
There are some things you can do in your journey to becoming pregnant when you know that you suffer from asthma, or even have a history of asthma from when you were much younger.
1. To begin with you should start to monitor your lung function, and confer with your doctor about this. With the help of your medical practitioner you can formulate an asthma pregnancy plan, which will look at lifestyle and medication.
2. Be aware of any patterns, or there any obvious triggers and find ways to improve your lung function. Stress can be a trigger and whilst we all have commitments and life can be fast and busy, if you wish to conceive and enjoy a healthy pregnancy, finding ways to cut down on stress, will do wonders for both your quality of life as well as your chances of a healthy conception and pregnancy.
For example if you live in the city, make it a habit to get into the country as often as possible to breathe air that is purer than city air. Apart from helping your lungs, this should also de-stress you, by being closer to nature.
3. You could also consider doing tai chi or qi gong, both of which are relaxing and healthy. In fact any form of movement which also focuses on breathing is excellent.
Some women find acupuncture beneficial to becoming more fertile and sessions of acupuncture at this time can relax the body as well as strengthening the overall system. A good practitioner could work on your lung points and then continue to work to promote balance, strength and fertility.
4. We are not always as sensible as we would like to be, and some people who suffer from asthma are also smokers. Don’t beat yourself up over this, but instead find a way that suits you to become a non-smoker.
Be careful not to use terms in your mind and out loud, about quitting or giving up, as this have some negative implications in terms of the language and its meanings. Instead plant the idea in your mind that you are now living a healthier life, which includes being a non smoker.
If you are currently a smoker, remember that the effects of the poisons going out of your system is strongest for the first week or so.
Whilst you may experience various emotional, mental and physical triggers, being aware of these and understanding the positive effects on your system, will help you overcome. Even if a woman doesn’t have asthma, ideally she should become a non-smoker as long as possible before conception occurs.
Managing Asthma When You Are Pregnant
Whether you had a chance to plan your pregnancy or not, once you have the news you definitely need to have an asthma action medical plan, organised with the help of your medical practitioner.
This will give you the confidence and reassurance you need to manage asthma during this time. One aspect which many women find helpful is to keep a pregnancy diary, which apart from monitoring health can be nice to look back on in the future.
The good news is that most asthma medications are considered to have far lower risks that the effect of a severe asthma attack could have on your baby. Additionally an uncontrolled attack carries far higher risks.
There are a small amount of women who may need to take medication due to a very extreme attack that does carry risks to the unborn baby. However the reality is that if you have designed a plan with your medical practitioner, you will be far less likely to experience anything so extreme.
Babies who are born to mothers who did have uncontrolled attacks, have a higher chance of being born prematurely and of having lower than normal birth weights.
Instead of being worried, regardless of whether you are already pregnant or planning to become pregnant, see this as an opportunity to adopt habits which will support your overall health, and of course your asthma during, and after pregnancy.
The writer, Jackie de Burca, previously suffered from asthma and before becoming pregnant she made significant lifestyle changes in order to give herself the best chance of managing her asthma during pregnancy.
For further reassurance she also attended a pregnancy scans clinic as early in her pregnancy as possible, and her experience in the clinic, Merrion Fetal Health, in Dublin, really helped her to feel relaxed and reassured.