A study that looked at pregnancies from 1975-2009 has found links between women with asthma and pregnancy complications including premature birth, pre eclampsia and low birth weight. The Australian and US researches found that pregnant women with asthma are at a significant increased risk and these findings were published in BJOG recently.
The researchers looked at 40 different papers from 1975 to 2009 and found that there was a presence of maternal asthma. They found that maternal asthma increased the risk of PE by at least 50% compared to those who did not suffer from asthma. The findings also showed that pre term delivery was greatly reduced to a non-significant level if a asthma management plan was provided to pregnant women. They also looked at the impact of asthma medications such as inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) and found that they did not have a direct adverse affect on the mother or unborn baby during pregnancy, and that the ICS may actually be an active help in outcomes such as low birth weight.
Australian Professor Peter Gibson, Centre for Asthma and Respiratory Diseases, University of Newcastle and Hunter Medical Research Institute, Newcastle, NSW, Australia and co-author on the paper said:
“Asthma is a common chronic disease among pregnant women, and the extent of the risks for both the mother and baby during the perinatal period make this a significant health issue.
“These results have implications for the antenatal care of pregnant women with asthma. Some of the reported complications may be minimised by effective asthma management strategies and it is important that this group of women and her developing baby are monitored regularly.”
Professor Khalid Khan, BJOG Scientific Editor, added:
“Asthma can complicate pregnancy however this new research is important as it highlights the need for effective management of the condition and the need for increased monitoring.
“Controlling the condition should enable a woman to maintain a healthy pregnancy with little risk to her or the baby.”
I would be interested to hear from any of you out there who have experience premature birth, pre eclampsia ( PE ) or low birth weigh, did you have maternal asthma and was it apart of your pregnancy care to have a asthma plan?
As always make sure you talk to your doctor if you have any concerns