When to Become Concerned About Asthma During Pregnancy

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When to Be Concerned

It can be difficult determining when to become concerned about asthma during pregnancy because it’s hard to tell if your breathing is normal or if you’re having an asthma attack. Being pregnant changes a woman’s body and it’s common to become short of breath as the pregnancy progresses. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have a normal, healthy pregnancy just because you suffer from asthma. You will, however, need to keep a close eye on your symptoms and take steps to keep it under control.

Understanding how being pregnant affects the body will help you determine when being short of breath is normal and when there is reason for concern. As you begin to gain weight, the body starts going through changes to accommodate for the extra weight. The lungs must work harder so the number of times you breathe in per minute will increase and become more rapid. As the baby grows, your stomach pushes up on the diaphragm, which also makes it more difficult to breathe.

Warning Signs

Since being pregnant can affect your breathing you don’t want to become alarmed every time you become a little short of breath but you do need to know how to tell when your symptoms are severe enough for concern. If you notice any of the warning signs listed below, it may be cause for concern:

  • If it becomes difficult to perform everyday tasks that you normally do while pregnant because it’s harder for you to breathe than usual.
  • Coughing at night that keeps you awake is reason for concern.
  • If it becomes painful to breathe for no apparent reason.
  • If you’re talking on the phone and you hear yourself wheezing, you may have a problem.
  • If your medication doesn’t provide improvement right away or if you realize you need to take it more often.
  • If you notice a decrease in the number of kicks you feel from your unborn baby and you’re having problems breathing this could be a sign of fetal distress and cause for concern.

If you notice any of these warning signs, it’s recommended you see your health care provider as soon as possible. This is a critical time for you and your unborn baby. Having an asthma attack when pregnant can cause serious complications for both of you. Therefore, no asthma symptoms should be ignored even if you’re not sure of its seriousness.


Having a serious asthma attack can be harmful to you and your unborn child. Talk to your doctor about what breathing problems are considered normal due to pregnancy. If something doesn’t feel normal or you experience the above warning signs, call your doctor. If you believe you may be having an asthma attack, seek help immediately.


Pregnancy.org - https://www.pregnancy.org/article/asthma-and-pregnancy

WebMD - https://www.webmd.com/asthma/guide/pregnancy-asthma