People who have asthma are constantly told to monitor their condition. It can be a nuisance, but it's also incredibly important. Moreover, it's beneficial to your health in multiple ways. After all, it goes without saying that being able to breathe properly is vital in order to live a long and healthy life.
But if you're pregnant and have asthma, it's super important that you control it. That's because asthma attacks during pregnancy are found to be linked to multiple serious health problems. These health problems can negatively affect both you and your unborn baby in a number of ways.
This was recently discovered during a study conducted by a team of Canadian researchers. They looked at the data of 103 424 pregnancies of women who had asthma. Of that number, 4455 of women had exacerbations that required medical attention. Exacerbations are defined as coughing or chest tightness, shortness of breath and wheezing- all of which can happen if you have asthma.
After other factors were adjusted, researchers compared pregnant women who had exacerbations with those who didn't have any exacerbations. Those in the former group were found to have a 30 percent increased risk of preeclampsia. There was also a 21 percent increase in having a baby born with a congenital malformation; a 14 percent increase for having a baby with a low birth weight; and a 14 percent increase in having a premature birth. There were also consequences for the baby as it grew up. Pregnant asthmatic women who had exacerbations saw a 22 percent increase in asthma for their children, as well as a 12 percent increase likelihood of pneumonia up to the age of five.
"Based on this research, I can’t say whether women should take medication or not. The important thing is that they need to control their symptoms and follow the guidelines their physicians provide," explained Kawsari Abdullah, a postdoctoral researcher at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario and the study's lead author.
So it appears that it's best to control your asthma as best as you can during your pregnancy. That way, both your and your baby's health will be better and stronger. After all, a healthy baby and a healthy mom are both super important!