Sheesh... don't expecting moms have enough to worry about already in regards to whether their child is growing normally and will be delivered on time and in perfect health? Now, several recent studies related to pregnancy and asthma risk will give pregnant women with asthma a few more worries.
Nuts During Pregnancy
No, I'm not calling pregnant women crazy! I'm talking about peanuts and other tree nuts. A new study out of Holland that was published in American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine shows that eating nuts and peanut butter on a regular basis during pregnancy can increase the risk that the unborn child will develop asthma down the line.
Four thousand pregnant women in Holland answered questionnaires about their eating habits during pregnancy. Then their children's health was monitored over an 8-year period. Women who had eaten as little as one peanut butter sandwich a day increased their baby's risk for developing asthma by 50%, which is staggering.
Researchers aren't sure exactly what causes this, but theorize that nut allergens cross the placental barrier and sensitize the child. It's important to note that women who ate leass than one serving of nuts per day did not pass the risk on to their children. Also, the researchers emphasized that more study will be needed to replicate these results.
Control Is Paramount During the First Trimester
Asthma control is always the goal of asthma treatment. When asthma is not kept under control, long-term damage to the airways can result. But now, a new study shows that when asthma is not well-controlled during the first 3 months in a pregnant woman who has asthma, the fetus has a much higher risk for birth defects.
The study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Allergy & Clinical Immunology, looked at nearly 3,500 women in the 10-year period from 1990 to 2000. Newborn children of women who'd had even a single asthma attack during their first 3 months of pregnancy were 48% more likely to be born with some kind of defect, as compared to 9% of kids whose moms had well-controlled asthma.
Experts believe that the decreases in blood and oxygen flowing through the placenta when asthma is out of control may contribute to the development of the birth defects, particularly during the first trimester, when so many of the baby's systems are developing.
If you have asthma and are thinking of becoming pregnant, it's essential to get your asthma under control first if you want to have the best chance for a healthy baby. Keeping asthma under control also means that you are healthier!
Published On: August 21, 2008