A stuffy nose or feeling congested during pregnancy is pretty common. A stuffy nose is a condition and is called Pregnancy Rhinitis, is not contagious, and is not caused by any infection.
If you had underlying conditions such as asthma or allergies before your pregnancy, you may find that their symptoms get worse during pregnancy, particularly during the third trimester.
What is pregnancy rhinitis?
Pregnancy rhinitis is also called “pregnancy drip”. Rhinitis is nasal congestion that can last for six or more weeks during pregnancy. It affects mostly during the first trimester or the last trimester, but can also affect at any time during pregnancy.
Your doctor will be able to tell whether your stuffy nose is because of rhinitis or some other infection. Pregnancy causes a lot of changes in the body that can lead to rhinitis. During pregnancy, blood flow increases to areas of the body called mucous membranes. Your nose is one of them. The swelling in the nose from this change can cause stuffiness and watery drainage.
Sometimes rhinitis can also be caused due to allergies. The symptoms could be more severe than the average case of pregnancy rhinitis. Pregnancy rhinitis should not cause significant breathing problems. If you feel you can't get enough air, your chest feels very tight, you are breathless, or feel like you're being suffocated it might be a sign of a medical problem.
Will you recover from rhinitis?
Yes, within 10 - 15 days after your childbirth. But if you do not feel better, you have to reach out to your doctor and get the appropriate treatment.
Does rhinitis have an effect on my baby?
Rhinitis can lead to sleep disorders in the mother that has the potential to impact the baby. Symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis are especially felt at night, making it difficult to fall asleep, causing women to wake up frequently through the night and be sleepy during the day. Breathing through the mouth due to a blocked nose may increase the likelihood of airway infections.
Many pregnant mothers who had rhinitis have delivered a healthy baby, and there are not enough studies to confirm the impact of rhinitis on the unborn child. But, it is not healthy to feel sleepy the whole day and to give up on your sleep. Speak to your doctor to find the best way to clear your breathing passages and get proper sleep.
How you can manage congestion?
Stay hydrated. Drink water to thirst. Eat fruits, and drink fluids.
You can use a cool-mist humidifier near your bed.
Avoid allergy triggers, polluted air, chemicals, cigarette smoke, and alcohol.
Keep your head elevated when you sleep.
Exercising regularly can also help you, but do not overdo it.
Eating extra vitamin C-rich fruits and veggies may make your capillaries stronger..
Note: You should avoid nasal decongestants. They are not pregnancy-safe. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine while pregnant.
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