Asthma & Pregnancy: Understanding Risks, Symptoms, and Care Tips

Pregnancy is a beautiful moment in a couple’s lives, but this phase can be challenging for both mother and baby, especially for those women who are facing asthma disease. Asthma is really a big problem, which can make pregnancy critical. That’s why it is important to get the right care while having asthma in pregnancy. Because bronchial asthma affects 4 to 8 percent of pregnancy cases, that’s the reason as a parent, you should understand this condition and get the proper information before it complicates your pregnancy. And with the help of this blog, you can get complete information about pregnancy and asthma, which might help you prevent any critical situation. 

Asthma & Pregnancy

What is Asthma in Pregnancy?

The first thing you should know about asthma is that it is a long-lasting disease which can tighten and narrow your airways and create a hurdle while breathing. But if we come to the main point, then if a woman faces pregnancy and asthma at the same time, then it will be a really challenging phase for her. Shortness of breath is common during pregnancy, but asthma can worsen other lung symptoms, like wheezing and chest tightness, making it essential to monitor and manage asthma carefully during this time. That’s why this serious condition requires proper understanding and care during pregnancy to avoid complications.

Effects of Pregnancy While Facing Asthma

Pregnancy can influence asthma differently in each woman. Some may see an improvement in symptoms, while others might experience worsening. Hormonal changes, especially increased progesterone, impact the respiratory system, potentially altering asthma symptoms. Therefore, it is crucial for pregnant women to monitor their asthma closely and consult healthcare providers to manage their condition effectively during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Asthma During Pregnancy

The symptoms of asthma in pregnancy are generally the same as normal asthma symptoms. Which include:

  • Increased Wheezing: More frequent episodes of wheezing and breathlessness.
  • Persistent Coughing: Constant coughing, especially at night or early morning.
  • Chest Tightness: Sensation of tightness or pressure in the chest area.
  • Shortness of Breath: Difficulty in breathing, often worsening with physical activity.
  • Frequent Respiratory Infections: Higher susceptibility to colds and other respiratory infections.

Due to increased respiratory demand, these symptoms may worsen during pregnancy. Effective asthma care requires distinguishing normal pregnancy-related shortness of breath from asthma symptoms.

care tips for asthma during pregnancy

Causes of Asthma During Pregnancy

The causes of asthma in pregnancy are the same as for asthma in general. Some common causes of asthma pregnancy:

  • Hormonal Changes: Fluctuations in hormones can trigger asthma symptoms.
  • Increased Blood Volume: Higher blood volume during pregnancy affects respiratory function.
  • Heightened Immune Response: Pregnancy can alter the immune system, impacting asthma.
  • Environmental Allergens: Increased sensitivity to common allergens may worsen asthma.
  • Stress and Anxiety: Emotional stress related to pregnancy can exacerbate asthma symptoms.

Does Asthma Complicate Pregnancy or Labor?

Asthma pregnancy complications can occur if the condition is not well-managed. Poorly controlled asthma can lead to:

  • Preeclampsia: Asthma increases the risk of developing preeclampsia during pregnancy.
  • Preterm Birth: There is a higher chance of preterm labor in pregnant women with asthma.
  • Low Birth Weight: Babies born to mothers with asthma may have a lower birth weight.
  • Increased Risk of Cesarean Delivery: Asthma can lead to a higher chance of needing a cesarean section.
  • Gestational Hypertension: Asthma is linked to elevated blood pressure during pregnancy.

However, with proper management and care, many women with asthma have normal pregnancies and deliveries. It’s crucial to follow the treatment plan and regularly consult with healthcare providers.

Diagnosis of Asthma in Pregnancy

Diagnosing asthma in pregnancy involves:

  • Symptom Assessment: Evaluate frequency and severity of cough, wheezing, and shortness of breath.
  • Pulmonary Function Tests: Measure lung function using spirometry to assess airflow obstruction.
  • Patient History: Review past asthma episodes, triggers, and current medication use.
  • Physical Examination: Check for respiratory distress signs, such as tachypnea or cyanosis.
  • Monitoring: Continuous observation of asthma control and adjustment of treatment as needed.
medcines in Asthma during pregnancy

Treatment of Asthma in Pregnancy

Treating asthma in pregnancy focuses on minimizing symptoms and preventing asthma attacks while ensuring the safety of the developing baby. Treatment options include:

  • Medication Management: Use inhaled corticosteroids and bronchodilators as primary treatments, adjusting dosages to maintain optimal asthma control.
  • Regular Monitoring: Frequent check-ups to monitor lung function and adjust treatment plans according to asthma severity and pregnancy progression.
  • Avoidance of Triggers: Identify and avoid known asthma triggers such as allergens, smoke, and environmental pollutants to prevent exacerbations.
  • Patient Education: Educate pregnant women on asthma management, proper inhaler techniques, and recognizing signs of worsening asthma.
  • Emergency Plan: Develop a clear action plan for asthma attacks, including emergency contact information and steps to take during an exacerbation.


Having asthma in pregnancy can be challenging, but with proper care, you can still have a healthy pregnancy. It’s important to understand how pregnancy affects asthma, recognize symptoms, and follow a treatment plan designed for you. Always tell your doctors about your asthma and work closely with them to keep both you and your baby healthy.  
Remember, pregnancy and asthma can coexist harmoniously with the right approach. By staying informed and proactive, you can manage your asthma effectively and enjoy a healthy, happy pregnancy. For a proper diagnosis and the right advice on pregnancy and asthma, feel free to contact Prof. Dr. Syed Arshad Husain, the best pulmonologist in Dubai.

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