Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy


Why am I short of breath?

Third trimester worsens the shortness of breath that women feel in pregnancy. One reason is the pressure being built up by the uterus, which is expanding and pushing up into the abdomen. This squeezes the lungs, reducing the space available for expansion. You may also be out of breath because you need more oxygen during pregnancy.

But the main cause of shortness of breath is an increase of progesterone, a hormone that increases during pregnancy. High progesterone levels directly affect your lungs and stimulate the respiratory center in your brain.

Later in pregnancy, your breathing might feel more labored due to increasing pressure on your diaphragm especially if the baby is high, or if there is excess amniotic fluid or multiple pregnancies. It can also be aggravated by a preexisting condition, such as asthmaanemia, or high blood pressure.

While shortness of breath can be worrisome, most of the time it is harmless.

What can you do to feel better?

  1. Practice good posture. Stand and sit up straight with your shoulders back and your head lifted.
  2. Breathing exercises.
  3. Aerobic exercise improves your breathingand lowers your pulse. …
  4. Relax. Don’t push yourself to stay active.
  5. Sleep with your head up and chest elevated.

When to seek EMERGENCY HELP?

  • Chest pain or pain when you breathe
  • Sudden or severe shortness of breath
  • A rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • A feeling that you’re going to faint
  • Rapid pulse
  • Blue-tinged lips, fingers, or toes
  • A sense of apprehension that you’re not getting enough oxygen
  • Coughing up blood

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