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Asthma in Pregnancy (cont.)

Other Treatments

Flu shot: Also called the influenza vaccine, this shot can help prevent you getting the flu. The risk of severe asthma attack is very high if you get the flu. Because a severe asthma attack can deprive the fetus of oxygen, the shot is recommended in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy. (Its safety during the first trimester is more questionable.)

Allergy shots: If you took allergy shots before you became pregnant and had no severe reaction to the shots, you should continue the shots during pregnancy. However, you should not start allergy shots during pregnancy.

Pregnancy Outcome

Asthma attacks can have a number of negative effects on pregnancy outcome. Poor asthma control is linked to preterm birth, low birth weight, and stillbirths in the fetus and hypertension in pregnant women. Women who become pregnant while being treated for asthma should not stop using their medication unless they are specifically told to do so by their health-care provider.


This graph shows asthma consensus guidelines used to manage chronic asthma. These guidelines are also generally used to treat pregnant patients with asthma.
This graph shows asthma consensus guidelines used to manage chronic asthma. These guidelines are also generally used to treat pregnant patients with asthma. Click to view larger image.

Medically reviewed by James E Gerace, MD; American Board of Internal Medicine with subspecialty in Pulmonary Disease


Asthma in Pregnancy. ACOG Practice Bulletin No. 90. American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Obstetrics and Gynecology 111 (2008): 457-64.

Carter, B.L., C.E. Driscoll, and G.D. Smith. "Theophylline Clearance During Pregnancy." Obstet Gyencol 68.4 (1986): 555-9.

Murphy, V.E., V.L. Clifton, and P.G. Gibson. "Asthma Exacerbations During Pregnancy: Incidence and Association with Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes." Thorax 61 (2006): 169-176.

Park-Wyllie, L., P. Mazzotta, A. Pastuszak, M.E. Moretti, L. Beique, L. Hunnisett, et al. "Birth Defects After Maternal Exposure to Corticosteroids: Prospective Cohort Study and Meta-analysis of Epidemiological Studies." Teratology 62 (2000): 385-92.

United States. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. "2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine and Pregnant Women: Information for Healthcare Providers." Jan. 14, 2010. Nov. 2, 2009. <>.

Werler, M.M. "Teratogen Update: Pseudoephedrine." Birth Defects Res A Clin Mol Teratol 76 (2006): 445-52.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 8/15/2014
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