SummaryRead the full fact sheet
- Continue to take your asthma medications as prescribed when you are pregnant. It is important for your and your baby’s health that your asthma is well managed.
- Discuss any concerns with your doctor and work together to develop an asthma action plan.
- Feeling breathless in late pregnancy is common, even in pregnant women who don’t have asthma.
- Breastfeeding is associated with better respiratory outcomes in children born to women with asthma.
Your baby will do best if you are breathing well and easily. Uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy has been linked to poorer outcomes for both baby and mother.
Work with your doctor to create a written asthma action plan and have it reviewed at regular times during your pregnancy to make sure you are getting the best asthma care possible.
Your asthma may change during pregnancy
Pregnancy can mean a change in a woman’s asthma. For some women, their asthma worsens and for others it improves, while others experience no change at all. About half of Australian women with asthma find their asthma gets a bit worse during pregnancy. As the baby grows and the womb gets bigger, some women feel breathless, particularly with .
Asthma medications are safe during pregnancy
are extremely safe and appropriate for use during pregnancy. Most asthma medications are inhaled, which delivers medication directly to the airways where it is needed, so a small dose can often be enough.
Asthma medication is not dependent on circulation through the bloodstream and, to some extent, bypasses the baby.
Discuss any concerns you have with your doctor before stopping any asthma medications, to make sure your asthma is controlled throughout your pregnancy. You can put your baby at risk if you stop taking your asthma medications, because if you have an , your baby may suffer from a reduced oxygen supply. Remember, if you can’t breathe then neither can your baby.
Asthma medication will not harm your baby, and taking prescribed medications is safer for you and your baby than having poorly-controlled asthma.
Asthma during labour
Asthma attacks during labour are rare. However, you should make sure your asthma medication is always accessible, including when you are in hospital. If you have asthma symptoms during labour, take your reliever medication as usual.
Asthma and pregnancy – the health risks of smoking
- risk of a
- lower birth weight, which can bring about other complications
- risk of and
- risk of asthma and respiratory infections.
Asthma and breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is associated with better respiratory outcomes in children born to women with asthma.
Breastfeeding is a learned skill and it may take time for you and your baby to get it right. Some women give up trying to breastfeed because they are worried their baby might not be getting enough milk during the learning and establishing process.
If you are having trouble breastfeeding your baby, there are lactation experts available to help you, such as your midwife or maternal and child health nurse.