When Pregnancy Makes Your Asthma Worse
Technically I’m asthmatic. But it’s so mild it doesn’t really factor in my day to day life. I only really get symptoms in the summer and usually as long as I keep up with my antihistamine tablets I only need the odd puff of a blue inhaler every now and then to get my through the pollen season. To put things into perspective, when I went in for my gallbladder operation the nurse noted that my inhaler was a year out of date.
So it came as a bit of a surprise to me when I started getting quite bad symptoms during my pregnancy. In December I ended up in urgent care with bronchitis. I was taking my blue inhaler multiple times per day and was so wheezy it was something I hadn’t really experienced before with my asthma, it was also a bit scary. I ended up on inhalers and antibiotics all over Christmas but my breathing was still not right and when the children went back to school I had to take inhalers just to manage the school run.
I decided to go back to the doctors and the GP I saw said this is no longer bronchitis this is asthma and immediately put me on oral steroids which made a massive difference. I was also put onto a preventative inhaler and referred to the asthma nurse.
The asthma nurse was really lovely the introduction of a preventative inhaler helped me get back to normality. I’m not used to managing asthma at this level but the asthma nurse was really helpful and me coming back every couple of weeks until we were both confident that my asthma was managed.
Ironically, the week after I was discharged from the asthma nurse we went on holiday and I became unwell again. At first I thought it was just a cold, but I got so wheezy I was back to taking my blue inhaler multiple times per day. I upped my preventative inhaler as per the guide I was given from the asthma nurse but things were not improving. If I’m honest, I knew I needed to see a doctor, but as we are on holiday I kind of ignored it.
We got back from on holiday on the Friday at 4.30pm and as my doctor’s surgery was still open I decided to give them a call. They were great and asked me to come down right away. The GP listened to my chest and unfortunately I had developed quite a nasty chest infection that had also triggered off my asthma. I ended up once more on antibiotics and oral steroids. I was worried about the amount of medication I was taking in pregnancy, but the doctor assured me that they were safe for pregnancy.
I’m now back on an even keel, my chest and my asthma are under control after my last batch of medication. But I have to admit it’s taken some getting used to. I worry that another cold or the arrival of hayfever season will see me back on oral steroids again. The doctor seems to think my asthma will go back to normal again after my pregnancy, so fingers crossed! But I never knew that pregnancy could affect your asthma so much.
Do you have experience of your asthma worsening in pregnancy?