Asthma: Common Complication of Pregnancy

ADELAIDE, Australia, July 13 (UPI) — An Australian researcher says 55 percent of women with asthma will have at least one acute asthma attack during pregnancy.

Vicki Clifton of the University of Adelaide says an asthma attack is the most common complication of pregnancy in Australia. Detrimental effects of an attack on the baby can include growth restriction, preterm delivery or even stillbirths.

“These poor outcomes are mostly preventable with appropriate asthma management, involving regular visits to the primary care physician and a management plan that covers knowing when to take and increase asthma medication and when it’s important to go to the hospital emergency department,” Clifton said in a statement.

Proper management of asthma means less risk of an acute attack and therefore reduced risk of poor outcomes for the baby.

Clifton says the mother-to-be may need to taking preventive medication. There is a popular misconception, she says, that asthma medication may harm the baby, but actually the asthma attack is more likely to be harmful.

Clifton also notes asthma often worsens in reproductive-age women and just being pregnant can make women more susceptible to an attack. However, many women with asthma are not being identified during pregnancy.

“It’s being under-reported during antenatal visits and therefore under-treated,” she said.

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