Each year, Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America representatives declare May to be "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month." If you have asthma or allergies and are having a baby, talk with your allergist. An allergist can help make sure you treat your condition in the safest and healthiest way for you and your baby.
Asthma and allergies are among the most common potentially serious medical conditions that can complicate pregnancy. In fact, asthma affects approximately 8 percent of women in their childbearing years.
Allergists have the training and expertise to help you control your allergies and asthma at all stages of your life, including pregnancy. Here are a few of the most common questions about asthma and allergies during pregnancy:
Will my asthma have any effect on my pregnancy and the baby?
If your asthma is under control, it shouldn’t affect your baby. If you experience frequent asthma flare-ups, it’s important to see your allergist right away, as uncontrolled asthma can be harmful to your baby’s development.
Will my asthma get worse during pregnancy?
It’s hard to say. Some moms-to-be find their asthma symptoms actually improve during pregnancy; others aren’t as lucky. Usually, the symptoms you have during your first pregnancy are a good predictor of how they will be during other pregnancies.
Can I use my asthma and allergy medications while I'm pregnant and nursing?
Although no medication can be proven entirely safe for use during pregnancy, you and your allergist can work together to develop a treatment plan that carefully balances the benefits of taking your medicine against the potential risks of uncontrolled allergies or asthma.
Can I receive allergy shots or a flu shot when I'm pregnant?
If you currently are receiving allergy shots (immunotherapy), your treatments can continue with careful monitoring. It is not recommended, however, that you start immunotherapy while you are pregnant.
Editor's Note: The recommendations in this article were supplied by Jeremy Katcher, M.D., with Patients First Health Care. Patients First has a medical facility in Eureka.