How To Deal With Breathing Problems During Pregnancy?

 breathing problems

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The changes occurring in the body during pregnancy are unlimited, and because of these changes, you may feel uncomfortable at times. Apart from the dreaded morning sickness, you may have multiple and myriad aches, nausea and also breathlessness!

Many women feel breathless right from the first trimester, while others experience the problem in the last phase of pregnancy. Here is our guide for you to handle breathlessness during pregnancy effectively.

Reasons For Breathing Problem During Pregnancy:

First of all knowing the reasons are important:

  • During pregnancy, there is higher production of the hormone progesterone, which causes you to breathe deeply. So, while you are breathing at the same rate as before, each breath is putting more effort on your lungs.
  • The way your body utilizes oxygen also undergoes a change, because now it is being used for your baby also. The body needs to absorb more oxygen and is more sensitive to the carbon dioxide breathed out.
  • There is pressure on the diaphragm and rib cage due to the growing size of your belly. The uterus stretches to make space for the baby and pushes against the muscles below the diaphragm. So, as your pregnancy progresses, you will easily get breathless.

Some women may feel more breathless than others because of these reasons:

  • Excess weight that they have gained during pregnancy
  • If they are carrying twins or triplets
  • If the baby is positioned high up in the uterus
  • Lack of iron in the blood. Being anaemic increases the need for oxygen for you and the baby.
  • Past tendency of asthma, or chronic cold and congestion

How To Deal With Breathing Problem During Pregnancy?

The feeling of being out of breath will gradually ease as you proceed to the end of your term and your baby moves lower down your body towards your pelvis.

If it is your first pregnancy, this will happen around 36 weeks. But if you have had kids before, your baby will not shift down until 38 weeks or later.

Here are some ways in which you can treat breathing problem in pregnancy:

  • Stay hydrated. Avoid spicy food or diuretic drinks that will make your body dehydrate.
  • Have diet that is rich in iron to avoid getting anaemic. Consume spinach and almonds.
  • Wear comfortable and loose fitting clothes. Tight clothes put further pressure on your body and make you tire faster.
  • Keep yourself cool. Heat and sweating make you need more oxygen and, hence, you feel breathless.
  • Do light exercises to get more oxygen. Never stress yourself.
  • Prenatal yoga and breathing exercises are immensely beneficial.

[ Read: Pregnancy Clothes ]

Posture And Breathlessness:

Maintaining good posture will also help.

  • Do not slouch, keep your back straight and pull in your tummy slightly, so that you stay upright. This way, your lungs will have more space.
  • While resting or sleeping, prop up your upper body on some pillows. This will reduce pressure on the lungs.
  • Using a recliner is also a good idea.
  • Never exert yourself, at home or at work.
  • Climbing up stairs, picking load, or simply moving about fast may make your breathless.

Is Breathlessness Risky?

No, it is not. Feeling breathless during pregnancy is normal and you should not be worried. Your baby will not be affected by this problem. Worries happen when breathlessness is accompanied by:

  • Pain in chest or abdomen
  • Feeling dizzy or faint
  • Coughing and wheezing
  • Acute problem in breathing and palpitation

[ Read: Dizziness During Pregnancy ]

In severe situations, immediately consulting your doctor is advisable.

Your body will take some time to recover from breathlessness after you have had the delivery. But rest assured that the problem is temporary. Take a deep breath, follow and share the tips for relief and you will be able to breathe easy.

Have more methods to curb breathlessness in pregnancy? Do share them with other expectant mommies in the comment section below.

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