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COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease)

Emphysema and childbirth??

05/30/2008

Question:

I was diagnosed with emphysema (not alpha-1) two years ago.. it`s a very rare and advanced case (my specialist says my lungs are as bad as a 60 year old pack a day smoker) and there`s no real explanation as to why I have it.. I`m now 11 weeks pregnant, but my blood oxygen levels are normal so I don`t think there`s a risk of it harming my baby.. What I`m curious about is whether or not I`ll be able to give birth naturally, since the risk of collapsing one or both of my lungs is pretty high even when I`m not under any physical stress..

Answer:

That is a good question, but we would need more information before addressing it. Particularly relevant would be results of your lung function tests and chest cat scan.  Your question should be asked directly to your lung specialist and obstetrician.

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Response by:

Mahasti   Rittinger, RRT Mahasti Rittinger, RRT
Clinical Program Manager of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep
College of Medicine
The Ohio State University