Asthma commonly complicates gestation and is present in approximately 1 per cent of pregnant women. More frequent is the concern on the part of asthmatic women as to the effect of a future pregnancy on respiratory symptoms. Uncontrolled asthma during pregnancy has been associated with maternal and fetal mortality, whereas untoward effects of maternal asthma or its treatment were not apparent when women with similarly severe diseases were managed medically in order to avoid chronic wheezing. Therefore, the goals of management of asthma in the pregnant patient include prevention of persistent wheezing and/or dyspnea, prevention of emergency room visits, prevention of respiratory failure and status asthmaticus, and prevention of maternal and fetal mortality. Attainment of such goals, however, is facilitated by an understanding of the physiologic respiratory alterations that occur in normal gravidas.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology