Parenting with severe asthma - Asthma UK communi...

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Parenting with severe asthma


My husband and I are currently childless and have been hesitant to try getting pregnant for a year now as I've had to be on prednisone so often. However, I seem (hopefully!) to be stabilizing lately and if I am lucky enough to get pregnant, we are committed to keeping me in a bubble for nine months.

Even if I have a healthy pregnancy however, I'm anxious about parenting with severe asthma. When I have bad attacks I feel completely debilitated and can barely function. I also worry about limiting my child's life as I will never be able to go to any of their friends' houses who have pets and so forth. (Hopefully, the imaginary child will inherit my husband's immune system of steel and not mine!!)

I know this is a delicate subject but my friends with kids just don't understand as they are all in remarkably good health and can't grasp what it's like to have a scary chronic condition like ours.

So I thought I'd ask for insight here from people who have been through it. Any thoughts advice comments etc. are most welcome.

Thanks so much in advance!

10 Replies


I'm not sure my experience will help as my children were older when my asthma really kicked in. A couple of things we have found absolutely worth their weight in gold were friends we could call on at a moment's notice (and who almost give the children a second home), having playdates here rather than at others houses (have more control over the environment / situation that way) and having extra help around the house (I have other issues too which mean we can employ a PA to help with housework, shopping etc).

I hope this helps! Good luck. It can be done and is hugely rewarding.

in reply to Bluecat99

Very helpful to hear, thank you! My asthma can get so kicked up even being around people with pet hair on their clothes--makes me nervous for pet dates but we will figure something out!! Thank you for taking the time to write, the posts on here are so kind and reassuring for me.


I have severe asthma and a 6 month old! I was on maintenance steroids throughout the pregnancy and still had a couple of admissions. Midwifes were great and came to ITU and the resp ward to let me hear heartbeat and keep an eye on me. Later on in pregnancy, I had to be admitted and they thought it safest for the baby to be on antenatal ward. That was probably the worst admission asthma wise as they weren't clued up on all things asthma (my husband stayed as they didn't even want to be responsible for nebs over night!) But I could understand that from a baby point of view, if anything happened, we were in the best place.

Now he's here, it can be tricky if I need a neb at the GP but I tend to just take him and bring his feed/toys and they're great at amusing him for a bit or I can call on friends/family. Do you live near people you could call on?

It's tiring but so so worth it!


in reply to Huchins4

So good to know, thank you. Glad to hear you were safe even when you had episodes during the pregnancy. We are thinking of moving closer to my in-laws for exactly this reason. Take good care and enjoy this time, I know they group up so quickly that first year!!

Hi, as the others have said you can/will find a way to get on with things. I just thought I'd add that sometimes asthma symptoms can improve while pregnant. I was one of the lucky ones where I basically had very little symptoms while pregnant and while nursing my children after. Obviously if things can improve they can also deteriorate but midwifes are fantastic and will keep a good eye on you. I was always worried about harming baby if I needed steriods or nebs but I think the placenta does help keep baby safer than we think.

Knowing your symptoms and having friends to call when you need it really helps. Mum's tend to stick together and help each other out as it's not easy but very rewarding!

in reply to ReedB

Interesting! In terms of asthma during pregnancy--my doctor said about 1/3 of women's symptoms get better, 1/3 stay the same, and 1/3 get worse. Fingers crossed I'll be in either of the first two camps if I'm lucky enough to get pregnant. Thanks for the kind note! So helpful to hear everyone's stories here.

You get used to the whole no pets thing. After a while, people who insist you won't be allergic their hairless cat/dog/house rabbit just accept that actually, you will be. Your child/children may not be the same, anyway and can play happily with anyone. My worry was that my children would develop asthma. My daughter coughed for a year, but was then ok and now smokes with no ill effects (so far!) My son had it mildly and grew out of it, so I think it's a bit of a lottery. I think people are far more aware and tolerant of allergies now compared to even 20 years ago. My kids had to accept they could only have fish as pets, but I don't think it's done them any harm!

Haha good to know! I've been thinking we could have a beloved family lizard or something :) I just worry about not being able to host sleepovers etc. as I get really bothered by pet hair even just on people and their luggage coats etc. Hopefully this would help my child grow up to be empathetic to people with health issues more than anything... Thanks for the note!

Hi Hilary39, I wish I could offer advice about pregnancy and asthma but my pregnancies were a long time ago and very much pre-asthma. However just wanted to say that having kids is one of the best things in life so I hope it works out for you. You sound as though you have thought it through and I’m sure you and your husband will cope. People always come into your life at the right time and I’m sure you will have plenty of support and help when you need it. Best of luck with it all.

in reply to Enchilada

Thank you for the kind sentiments :) Fingers crossed!

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