I’ve had asthma for nearly 15 years. When I was diagnosed they said I had mild asthma and severe panic attacks, two things that aren’t exactly great paired together. In that time, I’ve had more panic attacks than asthma attacks, but I’ve had my fair share of asthma attacks, one of which caused turmoil with a chest infection and got me in hospital for a very scary 5 days.
Over the years my asthma has stabilised itself and I haven’t really had to rely on my brown pump every day, and only use the blue one when my chest feels tight, or I’m very breathless, or a bad panic attack has got me into a bit of a tizzy. At various asthma reviews over the years, they’ve always said my asthma has in some way shape or form, got a little bit better than the last time, even though I did smoke, which surprised me! But when I found out I was pregnant and gave up the cigarettes straight away, I thought that would be the end of the asthma too, apparently not.
Some women have different experiences with their pregnancies. Some say their asthma improves, some say they don’t notice any changes in their symptoms at all and others notice that theirs get worse. I fell in the latter category. As I had mentioned earlier, I smoked before I was pregnant, I’d smoke easily 10 cigarettes a day, more when socialising and definitely more when I was drinking but as soon as I cleared my head and decided to go ahead with the pregnancy, I immediately stopped smoking and drinking and that was that. I didn’t for one second think that my asthma would get worse. My first trimester I was constantly nauseous and that terrified me about the health of my baby. From the first sizing scan to find out how far along I was, to the confirmation with my GP, that huge gap right up until my first scan gave me all sorts of things to panic and worry about. Not being able to feel my baby move and just going on what the doctors had told me, scared me no end until I saw her moving around and I felt fine.
Moving down to Ramsgate, seeing a change in the air around us, being by the sea, walking more and having a better interest in my health, I didn’t for one second think my asthma could get worse, but I’m using my brown pump in the morning and night and my blue pump (salbutamol) a lot more now too.
According to Asthma UK, you should get in touch with your GP as soon as possible when you find out you’re pregnant and put together an asthma plan. Your current prescription might not be working for you, so call your GP as soon as possible. Make sure your partner and those around you know that your symptoms have changed. If you’re unsure about what to do in an asthma attack, this great picture will help you….