I am newly pregnant and considered high-risk (I'm 39 and this is my first pregnancy, and I have asthma), and I am very nervous about using any medications while I'm pregnant, since all the cortico-steroids seem to be Class C. My asthma is well controlled so I want to just take albuterol as a rescue medicine (needed about 1-2x per day) and wait until at least the 2nd trimester before taking anything else. Is there a risk to me or my baby from using more albuterol than in the past? I know an asthma attack is dangerous for both me and my baby but I just can't bring myself to take the medication when it might cause birth defects and I'm already high risk... my doctor says to take the steroids but I just can't do it knowing I might be harming my baby. Any advice would be helpful as I am really stressing out about this!
Any time a woman is pregnant and needs medication we must consider risk vs. benefits. Is the risk to infant by drug exposure higher or lower than benefit to mother. In some cases, particularly breathing issues, the risk is worth the benefit. If you go into a bad asthma attack you could lose your baby or you could both die. This is a definite consideration. If your breathing is poor, this means your baby is not getting oxygen. Your body will send it to you and your baby wont get it plus, it doesnt take much oxygen deprivation to harm their devloping brains and central nervous system. I know that in most cases, you would try to avoid all drugs but in this case, your medications are more beneficial to you than there is risk to your baby. Have you spoken to an obstetrician yet? You should discuss your concerns with your obstetrician. He/She will be familiar with any harm that can befall the baby if you take your medications. Discuss your fears with him/her. Your Drs are not going to steer you wrong. They are responsible for any congenital defects until your child is 18 so they are not going to tell you something that will potentially harm your baby and set themselves up for lawsuit. Your asthma is well controlled because you are taking your medications so it is important for you to continue to do so until your Drs tell you not to.
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