A woman with asthma can have a safe pregnancy with few problems, or she and the fetus may experience serious problems.
Pregnancy may worsen, improve or have no effect on a woman's asthma. Bronchospasm may be a problem in the third trimester but tends to improve prior to delivery. Whichever course occurs will be seen in subsequent pregnancies.
A woman with good asthma control during pregnancy will usually have few complications.
A woman with poor asthma control during pregnancy is at increased risk for:
(1) pregnancy-induced hypertension
(3) uterine hemorrhage
(4) preterm delivery
(5) delivery by cesarean section
(6) neonates with intrauterine growth retardation with low birth weight
(7) neonates with congenital malformations
(8) neonates with transient tachypnea
Some women may stop taking their medications because of concern for the fetus. In general the hazards of poor asthma control are much greater than any adverse drug effects.
Women treated with high doses of corticosteroids may:
(1) experience a higher risk of urinary tract and other infections.
(2) have problems with glucose control
(3) give birth to neonates who experience hyperbilirubinemia
The woman may be at risk for an acute exacerbation following delivery so should be monitored more closely during this period.
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Specialty: Obstetrics & Gynecology