Uterus1.com: Great Information, Real Community, Better Living.
 Main Page
 Uterus News
Feature Story
 Education Center


Find a Physician
HTA in the News
 Heavy Periods Center
sharonbober  Uterus

Dr. Sharon Bober:
Healing the Sex Lives of Cancer Patients
About Heroes
 Join the Discussion in  Our Forums
Uterus1 Forums
Patient Stories
    Asked Questions

One Question Poll

Locate a Specialist
Online Resources
Uterus Anatomy
Video Library
Menstrual Diary
Office Visits
Patient Brochures
Search the Body1 Network
June 26, 2019  
UTERINE NEWS: Feature Story

  • Print this Article
  • Email this Article
  • New Guidelines Assess Pregnancy and Asthma

    New Guidelines Assess Pregnancy and Asthma

    January 25, 2005

    By: Laurie Edwards for Uterus1

    For the first time in over a decade, the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program issued updated guidelines for pregnant women with asthma. The guidelines are based on the premise that asthma medications are safer for unborn babies than acute asthma exacerbations are, and also urge close monitoring of women with asthma throughout their pregnancy.

    Taking into account the many new medications on the market and their effect on both women and babies during pregnancy, the guidelines are published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

    Asthma is a disease that affects more than 20 million Americans, and serves as one of the most frequent serious complications for pregnancies. Pregnant women with asthma are at increased risk of infant death, premature birth, low birth weight and elevated blood pressure that causes preeclampsia, which can result in the mother or the child having seizures.

    There is a direct correlation between the level of risk and the degree to which asthma affects women; the more severe the asthma, the greater the associated risk.

    “Simply put, when a pregnant patient has trouble breathing, her fetus also has trouble getting the oxygen it needs. There are many ways we can help pregnant women control their asthma, and it is imperative that providers and their patients work together to do so,” said Dr. William W. Busse, professor of medicine at the University of Wisconsin Medical School and chair of the NAEPP panel responsible for establishing the new guidelines.

    The NAEPP’s approach towards controlling asthma is similar to its treatment plan for children and women who are not pregnant: when asthma is more severe, medications are increased and when asthma is less severe, medication is decreased.

    The difference for pregnant women is that their condition can often alter the severity of their asthma, so close monitoring – from twice a month to every week, depending on the case – is recommended.

    A recent study by the National Institute of Child Health and Development Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network found that 30 percent of pregnant women experience a worsening of their asthma.

    Interestingly, 23 percent of asthma patients in the same study noted an improvement in their condition while pregnant, underscoring the unpredictability of the disease during pregnancy.

    “We cannot predict who will worsen during pregnancy, so the new guidelines recommend that patients with persistent asthma have their asthma checked at least monthly by a health care provider,” said Dr. Mitchell Dombrowski, fellow NAEPP panel member and chief of obstetrics and gynecology at Detroit’s St. John Hospital.

    Important guidelines concerning medication include the suggestion that all asthma patients carry albuterol, a fast-acting “rescue” inhaler, at all times throughout their pregnancy. Women whose symptoms occur at least twice a week should take daily medicine to prevent the exacerbations; inhaled corticosteroids are the best medicines to keep this inflammation at bay. Thus far, studies have found no adverse affects on fetuses when these drugs are used.

    For patients whose asthma does not respond to corticosteroids, another option is to use long-acting drugs called beta agonists, whose job it is to prevent exacerbations and inflammation from beginning.

    For those with the most severe cases of asthma, strong oral steroids such as prednisone may be necessary. While there is conflicting data as to their safety, but consensus is that severe exacerbations are undoubtedly harmful to the fetus and that in such instances, oral steroids may pose the lesser risk.

    Lastly, the NAEPP identified a key way to manage asthma during pregnancy: Being aware of triggers such as allergens, infections and other health problems and avoiding them if at all possible.

    Last updated: 25-Jan-05


  • Add Comment
    Interact on Uterus1

    Discuss this topic with others.
    Feature Archives

    Breast Milk as Nutrition and Medication for Critically Ill Infants

    Study Finds New Moms Still Excessively Sleepy After Four Months

    Preterm Infants and Their Mothers Benefit from Maternal Singing During Skin-to-Skin Contact

    Stress Impacts Ability to Get Pregnant

    Link Discovered Between Bacteria and Premature Water Breaking

    Next 5 Features ...

    More Features ...
    Related Multimedia

    Interview with James Spies, M.D. - The Effects of Less Functioning Vaults

    Interview with James Spies, M.D. about Treatments for Fibroids

    Interview with Dr. Foley: Heartburn and GERD

    More Features ...
    Related Content
    Asthma Prevention During Pregnancy Best for Babies

    Preeclampsia: Facts and Factors for Expecting Mothers

    Birth Rates On the Rise in Older Women

    New Research Examines Effects of MS Drugs on Pregnancy

    Satisfy Pregnancy Food Cravings the Healthy Way

    More Features ...
    Home About Us Press Jobs Advertise With Us Contact Us
    © 2019 Body1 All rights reserved.
    Disclaimer: The information provided within this website is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for consultation with your physician or healthcare provider. The opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the Owners and Sponsors of this site. By using this site you agree to indemnify, and hold the Owners and Sponsors harmless, from any disputes arising from content posted here-in.