‘What’s Up Doc’ is a health column in association with The Crawley Observer, which gives you the opportunity to ask questions regarding general health and wellbeing.
Answers are provided weekly from our specialist consultants at Spire Gatwick Park Hospital, Surrey. If it’s a long-standing illness or simply a worry which you would like to get off your mind then we would like to help.
This question appeared in The Crawley Observer on 3 October 2012, to readers across Surrey and Sussex. The question and answer is below, as it appeared in the newspaper.
"Dear Spire Gatwick, I have severe asthma and I am 4 months pregnant; will my baby have asthma too? I have had asthma for the past 13 years, what are the things that set off asthma symptoms? Will there ever be a cure? Thank you". Mrs. Nayee, Crawley.
"Dear Mrs Nayee, thank you for your questions. Asthma is a condition where the small tubes in the lungs become inflamed and sensitive. We don’t know the cause. We know it is not directly inherited - there is every chance that your baby won’t develop asthma. There is a greater chance if there is asthma, eczema or allergies in the family. A family history together with aspects of our environment influence whether someone develops asthma, in ways we don’t fully understand. There are some things you can do. Smoking in pregnancy or around your child significantly increases the risk of asthma. Breast feeding reduces the risk.
The most important thing for the health of you and your baby is to have your asthma well controlled throughout pregnancy. Asthma medication is safe in pregnancy but do have an asthma check-up at the surgery. The triggers for asthma symptoms vary. The common ones are viruses such as colds/flu, pollen, dust, animal fur and exercise. There is no sign of a cure for asthma on the horizon yet but new treatments are being developed all the time."