Need a GP appointment? Telephone or Video GP service
With our GP services, we aim to give you an appointment the same day, subject to availability.
To book or to make an enquiry, call us on 0343 253 8381∧
Breastfeeding has many health benefits for your baby, and it’s recommended that you breastfeed for at least six months if you can. The research about whether breastfeeding can prevent asthma in your baby is a bit mixed, though. Some research studies don’t show a link, whereas others do.
The latest guidance from the British Thoracic Society says that on balance it’s worth breastfeeding. Research shows that there are benefits and it does offer a protective effect, especially if your baby is at high risk of developing asthma. You need to breastfeed for at least four months for breastfeeding to have any preventive effects.
If you have any questions about breastfeeding or want to find out more, talk to your midwife or health visitor.
Passive smoking is likely to make a child’s asthma symptoms worse. If you smoke when you’re pregnant or after your baby is born, they’re more likely to have wheezy breathing and to develop asthma.
It’s best that all children – whether they have asthma or not – are kept away from smoky environments. If you have children or are pregnant and smoke, stop if you can. Your GP can give you support and advice on how to stop smoking.
Most women with well-controlled asthma have normal pregnancies with few problems.
In general, about one in three women with asthma find it gets worse during pregnancy, one in three find it gets better and one in three find it stays the same. There is no way of telling beforehand how it’s going to be, but it’s likely to be the same in all your pregnancies. Research shows that if your symptoms do get worse, it’s most likely to be in the second and third trimester.
If your asthma isn’t well-controlled, it can lead to health problems in pregnancy for you and your baby. These include conditions, such as pre-eclampsia and high blood pressure, and an increased chance that your baby will be born early. So, it’s important to keep your symptoms well controlled using your medicines.
Many asthma medicines are safe to take during your pregnancy, including reliever and preventer inhalers. Talk to your midwife or pharmacist for more information.
Did our Asthma information help you?
We’d love to hear what you think. Our short survey takes just a few minutes to complete and helps us to keep improving our health information.
This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
The information contained on this page and in any third party websites referred to on this page is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment. Third party websites are not owned or controlled by Bupa and any individual may be able to access and post messages on them. Bupa is not responsible for the content or availability of these third party websites. We do not accept advertising on this page.
- Asthma. Patient. patient.info, last edited November 2016
- Asthma. NICE Clinical Knowledge Summaries. cks.nice.org.uk, last revised April 2020
- Asthma in adults. BMJ Best Practice. bestpractice.bmj.com, last updated June 2018
- Asthma in children. BMJ Best Practice. bestpractice.bmj.com, last updated July 2018
- Asthma facts and statistics. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk, accessed April 2021
- Acute asthma exacerbation in adults. BMJ Best Practice. bestpractice.bmj.com, last updated June 2018
- Asthma attacks. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk last updated January 2019
- Asthma: diagnosis, monitoring and chronic asthma management – recommendations. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE). 2020. www.nice.org.uk
- Tests to diagnose and monitor asthma. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk, last updated July 2018
- Asthma – chronic. British National Formulary. bnf.nice.org.uk, accessed April 2021
- Manage your asthma. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk last updated July 2019
- Preventer inhalers. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk, last updated April 2018
- Your asthma action plan. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk last updated September 2018
- Which device in asthma? Patient. patient.info, last edited December 2016
- Spacers. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk last updated August 2019
- Getting emergency treatment through a nebuliser. Asthma UK. www.asthma.org.uk, last updated May 2017
- Using inhalers. Asthma UK www.asthma.org.uk last reviewed November 2018
- Asthma action plans. Patient. patient.info, last edited November 2016
- BTS/SIGN British Guideline on the Management of Asthma. British Thoracic Society and Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network. 2020. brit-thoracic.org.uk
- Occupational asthma. Patient. patient.info, last edited November 2016
- Breastfeeding. World Health Organisation. origin.who.int, accessed April 2021
- Second-hand Smoke: the impact on children. Action on smoking and health. 2014. ash.org.uk