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HealthInfo Canterbury

Asthma in pregnancy

Asthma can affect pregnant women in different ways. About a third of women with asthma get better during pregnancy, a third stay the same, and a third get worse.

It is important to keep treating your asthma well during pregnancy. This is the best way to ensure a healthy pregnancy and a good outcome for you and your baby. Asthma inhalers won't harm your baby and are safe to use while breastfeeding.

If you stop your treatment, your asthma could get worse. It could also increase the chances of your baby having a low birth weight.

Speak to your GP when you find out you are pregnant or if you feel your asthma is getting worse. They will advise you on what to do and help you get the best treatment for your asthma.

Signs that your asthma may be getting worse include:

What to do in an emergency

In an emergency, call an ambulance by dialling 111. For information about what to do next, see Asthma emergency.

See Living with asthma to find out more about monitoring your asthma and what you can do to keep it under control. This includes having an asthma management plan and keeping a peak flow diary. It is very important not to smoke when you are pregnant, especially if you have asthma. For more information on stopping smoking, see How to become smokefree.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by community respiratory physician, Canterbury DHB. May 2017.

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Page reference: 47499

Review key: HIASP-24574