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Pregnant with asthma - positive stories?

(13 Posts)
April2013 Mon 16-Nov-15 16:48:58

I have always had mild intermittent asthma with just a single wheeze in 1st pregnancy, this time it has steadily got worse from around time of conception, could be pregnancy related or because I moved house or some unknown factor. I'm now on highest dose of flutiform (preventer) and standard dose of bricanyl (reliever), I've had various flare ups over last 20 weeks (I'm 20 weeks pregnant) and currently only using reliever 1-2 times a day (previously wanted to use more than accepted dose of 4 x day but didn't and instead struggled with chest tightness whilst waiting for increased flutiform dose to kick in). Peak flow has always been ok, it seems I often feel very tight chested and breathless but peak flow is fine. So, I'm worried it might get worse in the 2nd half of pregnancy and worried how it could affect the baby, despite reassurances from health professionals - will it all turn out OK probably?! Will I miraculously lose the asthma after birth? 20 week scan fine last week and having another at 28 weeks. Thanks very much x

BigBroIsWatching Mon 16-Nov-15 17:18:06

I can't answer your questions but I am also an asthma sufferer who has got a lot worse!! Mine is allergy related. Do you suffer from allergies? I was wondering since you've moved house, if there could be an existing allergen which is causing the flare up? Do you get mould in your house? Did he previous owner have pets?

Mouthfulofquiz Mon 16-Nov-15 17:32:20

I'm one of the weird ones who had extremely mild asthma for years (think taking a puff of salbutamol once or twice a year if going on a run in the cold) and had an uneventful first pregnancy. Then I got pregnant again and BOOM! It all went wrong. Asthma attacks, needing emergency treatment, hospitalisation for pneumonia, followed by five (I think) further courses of antibiotics and steroids once the 5 week pneumonia was over. Anyway (sorry for the long and boring story!) after all that, I was very worried about giving birth because the consultant seemed worried that the physical exertion of labour would cause an attack. I wasn't going to be able to be induced using a pessary / drip if I went very overdue (drugs contraindicated in those with asthma) - it would have to be an 'manual' induction using a Foley catheter. In the end, although I only missed being induced by a day, I had a very quick, pleasant and drug free labour. I felt like a million dollars almost immediately after.
I have since been very much in control of my asthma, and take it very seriously. In fact, I'm pregnant again now and have been very well this time.
My advice is to ask for help when you need it - see the doctor, ask for a referral to an asthma consultant if you are worried. I had open access to my local hospital chest clinic so I could just pitch up If my peak flow went wonky or my heart started racing etc.
Good luck!

MaybeBabyOct2015 Mon 16-Nov-15 18:09:30

Hey, I'm currently 8 weeks into my first pregnancy and I have asthma. Mine is generally well controlled (don't need to use my reliever on a standard day) but in the last few years I have suffered 'blips' during the winter months so I am planning to book in with my asthma nurse in the next week or so to discuss the best ways to manage it during my pregnancy. I did have a wheezy day on Saturday where I felt I was struggling for breathe but my peak flow was fairly normal which made me a bit nervous. I'm hoping that they majority of the breathlessness I have experienced is due to increased blood flow etc rather than my asthma, but I think i get so used to it being asthma that it can be difficult to tell sad

When you say health professionals does that include an asthma nurse? Unfortunately, GP's aren't always very clued up on asthma and I find my asthma is much more useful and more able to advise.

If your doctors surgery has an asthma nurse and you haven't seen them yet I would recommend trying to get an appointment, if not see if you can be refered to an asthma specialist. It is a complicated condition and it may be that a specialist has more tricks up their sleeves to help you, they could look at changing your medication etc.

Fingers crossed they are able to help you, but don't give up pestering them. You know your body better than they do and if you aren't happy with your breathing keep on at them until they help you.

Good luck smile

LumpySpaceCow Mon 16-Nov-15 19:36:30

I'm on 3rd pregnancy and have asthma. It is usually well controlled but flares in pregnancy. In past two pregnancies I have had at least 1-2 courses of steroids and nebulisers, babies were fine x

April2013 Mon 16-Nov-15 20:50:25

Thanks very much for all this advice smile

I think it may be related to moving house, there was a lot of dust as had to have a lot of work done, but it is not dusty now, but I'm always paranoid and wondering what it is that is triggering it - I should probably just stop worrying about that and remember it is probably just pregnancy given I have had 33 other years where it has been very mild apart from around cats.

I've seen an asthma nurse a few times now and GPs too, the asthma nurses have been great. GPs not so great - l will make another appointment with both and see if they will refer me. I am frustrated that it seems that so long as peak flow fine they're not worried yet I am having strained breathing and still using reliever a fair bit. Unless I'm just not used to what it's like having more than mild asthma - I need to find out if I have well managed asthma or not, perhaps I am just hovering somewhere BTW need stronger drugs and should wait and see if improves over time.

Great to hear it usually has no effect on the baby at all - a pharmacist was very reassuring about that, I think I just wish I didn't have asthma, V frustrating, but I guess there are no quick fixes. Breathing difficulties are stressful.

Thanks again

April2013 Tue 17-Nov-15 11:41:12

On so they are prob going to put me on a 3 day course of steroids, I am so upset about it sad need to man up! So I assume now I can ask for a referal to a specialist.

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 18-Nov-15 10:14:10

Steroids are fine - please don't be upset about that. You need them - just take them and get better.
A three day course is quite short.
They are not going to hurt your baby in any way.

Everythinggettingbigger Wed 18-Nov-15 12:25:28

Mine is usually really mild but when I got pregnant it got a lot worse to a point where I was using the reliever 6-7 times a day and being woken up through the night too. I went to the doctors at about 8 weeks because it was so bad (now 13 weeks) and was given a Symbicort200 6 turbohaler....I was told to use it twice in the morning and twice in the evening and then whenever I needed it, after the first couple of days I only had to use it once of a morning and that's it really, now I rarely use it, maybe once every couple of days. Its a preventer and reliever in one, white with a red lid.

April2013 Thu 19-Nov-15 16:37:03

Mouthfulofquiz - what an inspiration! Sounds like it worked out V well in the end smile I am similar to you in that have had V mild intermittent asthma since childhood, 1st pregnancy just a single wheeze but with this one (now 21 weeks) it is getting steadily worse almost from point of conception, well, my symptoms arent worsening (no asthma attack but days and days of tightness and having to take deep breaths constantly and reliever not working) but even though the inhaler drugs increased to the upper limit they still arent working. So now I am on steroids for 5 days and have been referred to respiratory consultant. Unless the steroids magicly reset my lungs for the next 4 months, what can I expect from a respiratory consultant? So are there any other issues with birth and asthma apart from manual induction (what is that?!)? I was induced using pessary and drip last time. Will the next step likely be more steroids? Will they suggest a c section? If it does worsen again I hope I get open access to asthma specialist too, I'm confused as midwife and asthma nurse said if it worsens go straight to a and e whilst waiting for referral app but GP was scathing of this and said go see GP.

Everything - that's great your new inhaler sounds to have really worked smile

April2013 Thu 19-Nov-15 16:42:44

just found manual induction info online - sounds interesting...

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 21-Nov-15 16:07:25

So sorry I didn't reply sooner!
Last Foley catheter is inserted into your cervix and the balloon is filled up with water.. Then you tug on it slowly over a long period of time (that's what the consultant told me) - I didn't fancy it myself but needs must etc if the situation arises!!

The consultant and the hospital asthma nurses were fantastic - gave me so much jnformation and really empowered me to take control of my asthma and also understand what the warning signs really are.

Again - sorry I took so long to reply!! Hope all is well smile

Mouthfulofquiz Sat 21-Nov-15 16:07:54

That should read 'a foley catheter'

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