According to a National Asthma Education for the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control Diseases (National Asthma Education Group for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is the acronym CDC), asthma is one of the most common diseases that can complicate a pregnancy. In some cases, the diagnosis of asthma is not made until the woman becomes pregnant. The way in which asthma affects a woman during pregnancy varies, including:
- A third of women experience no change in their asthma symptoms.
- A third of pregnant women experience more severe symptoms of asthma.
- A third of pregnant women experience relief of symptoms of asthma.
- The symptoms may become more severe between 29 and 36 weeks of pregnancy.
Possible complications for the mother smokesAsthma, when not controlled, can put undue stress on the mother as well as the fetus. Lack of oxygen not only deprive the mother but also the fetus. Other complications from uncontrolled asthma for the mother include:
- Preeclampsia (also known as toxemia in pregnancy.) - A pregnancy disorder characterized by increased blood pressure, fluid retention and protein in the urine.
- Gestational hypertension - high blood pressure during pregnancy.
- Hyperemesis gravidarum - a pregnancy disorder characterized by prolonged vomiting, weight loss, and fluid and electrolyte imbalances.
- Vaginal bleeding - bleeding through the vagina.
- Induced labor or complicated, or both - the beginning of labor to give birth to the fetus or labor that may cause complications for the mother and fetus.
Possible complications for the fetusThe absence of oxygen to the fetus from the mother can lead to many health problems in the fetus, including the following:
- Perinatal mortality.
- Intrauterine growth retardation - poor fetal growth in the uterus, causing the fetus to be smaller than normal for gestational age.
- Premature birth.
- Low birth weight.
- Neonatal hypoxia - inadequate oxygen to the cells.