As pregnancy progresses, many expectant mothers may experience shortness of breath. Shortness of breath is a common problem in women during pregnancy. Especially in the last 3 months of pregnancy, the need to breathe may increase and the expectant mother may feel as if she is choking or short of breath.
What Causes Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy?
The main cause of shortness of breath during pregnancy is that as the uterus grows, it presses on the diaphragm muscle that separates the abdominal and chest cavities and pushes it upwards. This causes the expectant mother to make more effort to breathe.
In addition, during pregnancy, the expectant mother needs more oxygen than in normal times. The expectant mother starts to breathe faster and more frequently to adapt herself to this situation and to meet her oxygen needs. Increases in hormones (especially the hormone progesterone) directly affect the lungs. The elevation also stimulates the respiratory center in the brain. This leads to an increase in the number of breaths taken every 1 minute.
Sometimes excessive weight gain, the presence of respiratory diseases such as asthma in the expectant mother, multiple pregnancies and iron deficiency can also cause shortness of breath during pregnancy.
Tips to Reduce Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy
- You can consume iron-rich foods to overcome iron deficiency.
- You can prevent dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
- You can minimize the effects of shortness of breath by wearing loose and comfortable clothes.
- You can help your body get more oxygen by practicing breathing exercises frequently.
- You can increase your general fitness and lung capacity by walking from the moment you start thinking about becoming pregnant. Walking in the first 3 months of pregnancy will help you spend the last 3 months more comfortably, especially in the last 3 months when shortness of breath is more common.
- If you smoke, you should quit smoking and stay away from smoking environments.
Is Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy Harmful for the Baby?
The expectant mother may suddenly become out of breath, sometimes while climbing stairs, sometimes during any physical activity. He or she may experience frequent shortness of breath. However, this is harmless for the baby. The baby receives the oxygen it needs from the placenta in sufficient quantities.
If you have a known respiratory problem before pregnancy or if you experience additional problems such as severe palpitations, chest pain, numbness in the hands and feet along with shortness of breath, I strongly recommend that you get your doctor’s opinion.
Stay in good health…