Dyspnea during Pregnancy: Symptoms and Treatment

Dyspnea during Pregnancy: Symptoms and Treatment

Last update: 17 May, 2018

Dyspnea during pregnancy is common in future mothers. The term refers to having difficulty breathing. It’s the result of complications and adaptation to changes in the body while pregnant.

Dyspnea, also known as shortness of breath, is mainly associated with the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.

Respiratory difficulties during pregnancy can be explained by the baby’s growth, the effect of hormones and the modification of the respiratory system.

The combination of all these factors can be really disturbing for many future mothers, as more than half of them will eventually feel out of breath.

Dyspnea during pregnancy is usually experienced when performing an activity or during a period of long rest.

There are two types of dyspnea: acute and chronic. In acute dyspnea, a shortness of breath lasts a few weeks, while chronic dyspnea lasts more than a month.

Fortunately, this discomfort isn’t dangerous for the baby, and some exercises can give you some relief, even if it’s only temporary.

More common in the third trimester

As mentioned above, dyspnea causes difficulty breathing because the uterus puts pressure on the diaphragm and causes breathing problems.

Complications are accentuated and are more common in the third trimester of pregnancy.

During this time, and even in the second trimester of pregnancy, the uterine cavity expands due to the growth of the fetus. Therefore, women are likely to experience more frequent breathing difficulties.

Feeling fat lasts nine months, but the joy of becoming a mother lasts forever.

-Nikki Dalton-

Common symptoms of dyspnea during pregnancy

These are some of the common signs and symptoms of dyspnea during pregnancy:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Body weakness
  • Fatigue
  • Bluish discoloration of the nails and skin
  • Restlessness
  • Abnormal breathing patterns
  • Increased heart rate
Dyspnea during Pregnancy: Symptoms and Treatment

Tips for treating dyspnea during pregnancy

Here are some methods to help relieve dyspnea during pregnancy:

1. Avoid strenuous activity

The first piece of advice is to try to relax from time to time during pregnancy. You shouldn’t put too much effort into work or household chores, as this can make dyspnea even worse.

Taking frequent breaks will allow your body to recover and be more relaxed. This will help improve your breathing problems throughout the nine months of pregnancy.

2. Practice breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are one of the best remedies for combating shortness of breath and relieving symptoms of dyspnea. These activities will help you increase your lung capacity and, consequently, will allow you to breathe better.

3. Maintain good body posture

Good body posture is very useful for reducing dyspnea. While sitting, you should keep your shoulders back.

This position will provide ample space for the lungs to expand. When sleeping, try to keep your body elevated by placing more pillows behind your back.

4. Change position

If you feel out of breath and uncomfortable in a certain position, try to change to a more relaxed one. This will help you breathe more easily.

5. Aerobic exercises

Finally, mild aerobic exercises are always good to do during pregnancy. Often, not being fit during pregnancy can increase your breathing difficulty. The baby also needs oxygen to grow well inside you.

Dyspnea during Pregnancy: Symptoms and Treatment

Therefore, you should consult your doctor and learn some basic aerobic exercises to keep you in shape. These workouts also maintain the functioning of the cardiovascular and respiratory system without problems.

It is common to experience dyspnea during pregnancy, and the above measures will greatly help you treat and control your dyspnea.

In case you experience severe symptoms, such as dizziness, prolonged breathing problems, extreme exhaustion or severe chest pain, you should hurry to visit your doctor.

If you don’t control your breathing difficulties, lack of oxygen can harm both you and the developing baby.

Consequently, it’s extremely important to be concerned about worrying symptoms and to make an effort to carry out measures to treat dyspnea effectively.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.