Ease Pregnancy Congestion

Photo Credit: anna gutermuth from Flickr

If you have noticed nasal stuffiness during pregnancy, you may think you are coming down with a cold, but nasal problems and congestion are actually a common symptom of the 9-month journey. Thankfully, there are ways to ease the stuffiness. 

The cause

During pregnancy, your body produces high levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. This increase in hormone levels causes increased blood flow throughout your body, including the nose. As a result, the tissues of the nose can become inflamed, and your body may produce more mucous, which can cause stuffiness and nosebleeds. This condition is called rhinitis of pregnancy.

For the entire pregnancy?

Nasal congestion and nosebleeds usually begin during the first trimester and may become worse as the pregnancy progresses. Unfortunately, nasal congestion will not usually go away during pregnancy, and it may take up to two weeks after birth for the problem to fully dissipate.

Easing the symptoms

Before you can begin to self-treat your symptoms, first be sure the symptoms are from pregnancy congestion and not the result of something else that may require medical attention. If you feel congested and also have a sore throat, fever and a cough, then you most likely have an infection, such as the common cold. If you have nasal congestion, as well as itchy, watery eyes or you are frequently sneezing, then allergies may be the cause. If you only have nasal congestion or stuffiness, then it is probably caused by the pregnancy. If you aren’t sure what is causing the congestion, consult your physician. Some cold and allergy medications should be avoided during pregnancy so don’t take any over-the-counter medications without first speaking to your doctor.

If it turns out to be pregnancy-related congestion, try the symptom-alleviating tips below.

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