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Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy – How to Overcome?

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Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy

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Shortness of breath during pregnancy is mostly seen in pregnant women who experience and feel shortness of breath in the first few weeks of the trimester. And, as the pregnancy progresses, the to-be-moms start to feel winded post the minimalistic amounts of physical exercises.

Shortness of breath during pregnancy is a result of the increase of the pregnancy hormone known as progesterone. It expands the lung capacity of the mother that allows the blood to carry large quantities of oxygen to the baby.

But, is this normal? Does this happen in every pregnancy? When to worry about shortness of breath during pregnancy? Here’s what you need to know about the shortness of breath during pregnancy. How to overcome shortness of breath during pregnancy? To know the answers to these questions, read the article curated by us ( Parenthood bliss ) below!

Is it normal for a pregnant woman to feel short of breath during pregnancy?

Yes, it is absolutely normal for pregnant women to face mild breathlessness in their trimester as they are carrying a growing uterus. However, many women may feel rather less than comfortable but that is no sign to worry as well, as it’s totally normal.

Also, do not worry about the baby, this is normal and safe, and the little one is well-oxygenated through the placenta that is shared with you.

Perhaps, just in case you experience severe shortness of breath or chest pain, contact your medical advice in order to be reviewed.

When does shortness of breath start and what causes it?

As per the health information, the shortness of breath during pregnancy tends to start in and around the second trimester. However, with the third trimester hitting in, the breathing tends to increase as the baby continues to grow with the growing uterus that you carry.

This is caused by the pregnancy hormone progesterone that stimulates the brain to increase the frequency, as well as, the depth of the breaths. This results in the mother-to-be taking in more oxygen for both, herself and the growing baby-to-be. The other reason behind this is the hormones that swell the capillaries in the respiratory tract that end up relaxing the muscles of the lungs and bronchial tubes.

With the third trimester, as mentioned above, the uterus tends to push up against the diaphragm as it continues to grow. This expansion tends to compress the lungs, as well as, limiting the ability of the diaphragm to fully expand as and when you take a breath, causing shortness of breath in the later stages of your pregnancy.

How to overcome shortness of breath during pregnancy?

Irrespective of the inability of the precautions, as well as, the unlikelihood of complete relief, here are a few tips or hacks that are medically reviewed to help you at the most ease out the discomfort caused by the growing uterus the results in  shortness of breath during pregnancy:

  • Stand upright as much as possible

Standing or maintaining a proper posture helps the lungs with some additional room to fully expand as per space for it to do its job.

  • Try to sleep propped up on the left side more often

Sleeping on the left side helps the body to experience good circulation to run in the body that also gets in the placenta of the baby.

  • Stay active as advised by the doctor

In either trimester of pregnancy, it is advised for the mother-to-be to go about her daily activities and also continue exercising as per consulted by the doctor. But, make sure you do not push your body over the edge as it could be dangerous for both, you and your baby.

  • Rest while you have time

Always maintain a good and pleasant mindset, take it easy and rest while you have time. Mother! You deserve every second of it.

When does the shortness of breath end?

As medically reviewed, the mother progresses to face shortness of breath during her trimester until the end of it all, that is, the D-day when you finally meet the little one. As the baby drops down into the pelvis region, it helps in freeing some room for the lungs to now breathe and get in the oxygen like never before.

When to worry about shortness of breath during pregnancy?

There would be changes in the rate of breath you will be able to catch as your pregnancy progresses. This is perhaps normal and you need not get worried about it but take necessary steps as mentioned above in the article.

However, if the shortness of breath increases and you are constantly breathless or are experiencing heart palpitations, you must contact your health care provider immediately. This breathlessness could be a sign of anemia during pregnancy that is caused due to a decrease or depletion of the oxygen-carrying red blood cells where the doctor will check on the iron levels, or even as dangerous as pulmonary embolism. But, before you panic, it could also be a sign of something really small, the answers can be owned by the doctor’s visit, so hurry up!

Also, make sure to consult the doctor if you have asthma.

On the other hand, if at all you feel like you are having a tough time breathing or your lips or fingertips are turning bluish, have chest pain, rapid pulse, call the doctor or reach the emergency immediately.

In Conclusion

Normal shortness of breath during pregnancy is completely ok to experience as it results due to the growing uterus that tends to push up to the diaphragm, leading to no space for it to fully expand. You can simply follow the tips mentioned above to help at least ease out the discomfort. Perhaps, if there are any severe signs, contact the doctor immediately.

FAQs On Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy?

1) Can shortness of breath during pregnancy hurt the baby?

Mild shortness of breath during pregnancy is completely normal and there is no need for you to panic or worry about it as it does not affect the levels of oxygen that is delivered to the baby via the placenta.

2) Why is it hard to breathe when I lay down while pregnant?

It can be hard to breathe when you are lying down due to the mechanical effect that is caused by the enlarging or growing uterus with the progression of the pregnancy. The palpitations and the awareness of the heartbeat are experienced as the diaphragm shifts up in the chest that causes the heart to sit higher on the chest.

3) When to be concerned about the shortness of breath during pregnancy?

If the shortness of breath started all of a sudden, is severe, and seems to get worse with pain, cough, wheezing, or heart palpitations you must contact the doctor.

On behalf of the editorial team at Parenthoodbliss, we follow strict reporting guidelines and only use credible sources, along with peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and highly respected health organizations. To learn about how we maintain content accurate and up-to-date by reading our medical review and editorial policy.

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