The Respiratory System

The respiratory system undergoes a number of functional and anatomical alterations during pregnancy as a result of hormonal changes, increasing metabolic demands of the fetus, as well as the physical effects of the enlarging uterus. These effects produce an altered susceptibility, clinical course and management for several pulmonary conditions. Furthermore, the physiological changes may produce shortness of breath in normal women undergoing normal pregnancy – “dyspnea of pregnancy”.

Lung disease

Asthma is a very common condition in the general population, and is therefore common during pregnancy. While there is a natural reluctance to use drug therapy during pregnancy, this is a condition that typifies the benefits of treatment over avoidance. Pregnancy may influence lung disease variably – asthma may actually improve or get worse, while other conditions such as pulmonary embolism are far more common in the pregnant woman. There are also several lung conditions that are specific to pregnancy, occurring as a result of the pregnant state or its complications.

Staff Respirologist: Dr. Stephen Lapinsky

For referrals:
Dr. Stephen Lapinsky
tel: 416 586 4800 x 3211
fax: 416 586 8480

Special Pregnancy Program

Referrals »

Fetal Medicine: 416-586-4800 x 7756
Fax: 416-586-3216

Maternal Medicine: 416-586-4800 x 7000
Fax: 416-586-5109

Main clinic hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm

Prenatal Diagnosis & Medical Genetics

Referrals »

phone: 416-586-4800 x 4523
fax numbers:
416-586-4723 or 416-586-8384

Perinatal Mental Health

Referrals »

Phone: 416-586-4800 x 8325
Fax: 416-586-8596