PLANO, TEXAS—Carolina Rodriguez never had asthma until she turned 18--and it got worse when she became pregnant with her first child Kaysie who is now two-and-a-half years old.
Carolina is now 18 weeks pregnant with her second child and her asthma is back.
A lot has changed between Carolina's pregnancies--the National Asthma Education and Prevention Program issued its first new set of guidelines in more than ten years.
Dr. Nikki Walden is an OB/GYN at Baylor-Carrollton and said the new guidelines--which includes a step up step down approach to medications which is basically using more when it's needed and less when it's not.
New research indicates it's safer to take the meds than risk asthma complications.
"It's likely these medicines are going to be safe for the baby,” Dr. Walden said. “Obviously it's going to be safer to on the medication than it is to be on the medication to not be getting adequate oxygen to the baby."
Dr. Walden said poorly managed asthma can lead to high blood pressure, low birth weight and preterm labor--which happened to Carolina during her first pregnancy--Kaycie was born about a week early.
This time around the breathing problems came earlier.
"Getting the air in, all the way in,” Carolina said. It's kind of hard without producing a cough sometimes."
The new guidelines also call for pregnant patients with asthma to get checked at least once a month.
Dr. Walden called the new guidelines and important step.
"If the mother is not getting oxygen,” Dr. Walden said. “Her baby is not getting oxygen."
As for Carolina, she just wants a second breath of fresh air--or as she likes to phrase it.
"Bring a healthy baby into the world."