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Asthma and Pregnancy
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Asthma and Pregnancy

I am 20 weeks pregnant.  Two weeks ago I caught a bad cold.  (My two-year old started day care last month and has so far brought home a disproportionate amount of bugs.)  One week ago I was still fairly beaten down by this cold but could tell I was slowly improving...and then out of nowhere I came down with flu-like symptoms.  I'm not assuming the cold and flu (if it was indeed the flu) were related; I just think I got hit with two separate viruses in close succession.  Regardless, I had a moderately high temperature and severe chills and body aches.  My fever only lasted one night, and the chills and body aches were gone within 24 hours.  What has remained is a bad case of asthma accompanied by a hacking cough.  I have had asthma since childhood (I am 31 years old), and I manage it with ease using Advair 250/50 once a day.  Only on very rare occasion do I need to use my albuterol.  For the past week that I have been suffering with this asthma, I have upped my Advair to twice a day, and I have been using my albuterol throughout the day.  Even then, I still feel constant tightness in my chest and shortness of breath.  My concern is about my unborn baby.  Have a harmed her for going this long without doing something more?  If so, what damage might I have done?  Also, what can I do from here on out?  If I were not pregnant, I would put up with the asthma until this virus completely cleared my body.  But I'm worried about my baby.  And I've become paranoid that I possibly have walking pneumonia.  Thank you in advance for your response.
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Hi!
I always tell my asthma patients to USE their medications!  All of the asthma medications are safe, and it is very important to get good oxygen to the baby!
If you were my patient, I would have you come in for a peak flow study.  I would encourage you to use your albuterol up to four times per day as needed, and I would consider starting an inhaled steroid for you. Asthma can be worse during pregnancy, and can get bad quickly, so I would STRONGLY encourage you to contact your doctor and get your medications optimized so that you are breathing easily again and getting plenty of oxygen to your unborn. Don't let it get out of hand!
Good luck!
Dr B
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