Asthma attacks in pregnant women are quite common, even for those who have never had asthma before.Having asthma does not necessarily mean that the pregnancy will become more difficult or dangerous to either the fetus or the mother.Asthma is a respiratory condition which affects the airways, specifically the bronchi. People with asthma have more sensitive than normal lung airways.
Asthma attacks occur when a trigger, something that irritates the lungs, narrows the airways. The lining then becomes inflamed, whereas the muscles constrict. Moreover, there is an increased production of sticky sputum (phlegm). Pregnant women with asthma, and anyone with asthma, actually, should always have an asthma plan and recognize asthma triggers to avoid unnecessary consequences.
Causes of Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women
The precise cause of asthma has not yet been determined. When symptoms of asthma worsen, it leads to asthma attack. Any of the following may cause asthma attacks. The following are called triggers:
- Respiratory infections, whether bacterial or viral
- Air pollution, such as tobacco smoke
- Allergens, such as pollens, dust mites, etc.
- Contact with animals, especially cats
- Indoor conditions
- Weather conditions
- Exercise, especially in cold weather
- Emotional factors, such as laughing or stress
- Strong smells
- Certain medications
Risk of Uncontrolled Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women
During asthma attacks, it does not only affect the pregnant mother but the fetus inside the womb as well. It limits oxygen that gets to the fetus as well.
- Risks to one’s self
- Morning sickness
- Vaginal bleeding
- Induced and/ or complicated labor
- Risks to the fetus
- Oxygen deprivation for the baby
- Unusually slow growth of the fetus, making the baby appear small after birth
- Low birth weight
- Preterm birth
- Death immediately before or after birth
Symptoms of Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women
Symptoms of asthma attack vary in pregnant women and some pregnancies actually improve asthma symptoms for women. Symptoms for asthma attacks are usually the same for all people
- Breathing difficulties, very rapid breathing or short breaths, which may lead to trouble sleeping
- Wheezing or whistling sound while breathing out
- Frequent coughing that does not stop
- Chest pressure
- Tightened muscles of the neck and chest
- Cyanosis of lips or fingernails
- Pale, sweating face
- Difficulty talking
- Feeling panic or anxiety
First Aid for Asthma Attack in Pregnant Women
It is necessary to treat
href=”http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy-and-asthma/MY01977″>asthma attacks in pregnant women to avoid any of the risks mentioned above. Administering first aid during asthma attacks in pregnant women can help minimize risks for injury. Pregnant women can follow the same action plan as non-pregnant women.
- If there is an asthma plan, use this
- Stay calm and comfort the pregnant woman. Do not leave the pregnant woman alone at all times.
- Assist the pregnant women into sitting upright and loosen tight clothing.
- If the woman has her own inhaler, make use of this. Make sure to borrow one, if none is available. Give one puff of reliever inhaler every after one minute. Give four separate puffs. Use a spacer, if possible.
- After four minutes, give another four separate puffs each separated by a minute.
- If the pregnant woman still has trouble breathing, call for emergency medical services. Continue giving four separate puffs every four minutes until help arrives.
It is highly recommended for those living with asthma to join in first aid courses. The article above is for mere information but does not teach proper handling of these cases. To learn more about asthma attacks in pregnant women and management, join in St Mark James First Aid Training.