It is very common for pregnant women to experience shortness of breath during the third trimester of pregnancy.
Cause of shortness of breath during pregnancy
he growing baby push uterus which exerts pressure on the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle that contracts and relax in the breathing cycle. Because of the increasing pressure from the expanding uterus on the diaphragm, breathing will become difficult. Sometimes, when you breathe, you will feel that the air is not wholly inhaled into your lung.
Lungs are compressed
The growing baby also compresses the lungs which reduce the capacity of the lung; this means you are unable to breathe in as much air in each breath.
More oxygen is needed
Other than that, more oxygen is needed during pregnancy to support not only the mother but also the baby, and this can indirectly cause shortness of breath for some expectant mothers.
When to seek doctor's help?
Usually, shortness of breath will not harm your baby if it does not last long. Hence, the expectant mother does not need to worry once it occurs. However, you should seek doctor's help if shortness of breath becomes very severe or your lips become purple.
In the following situations, you should also contact the doctor immediately:
- You feel pain while taking deep breaths, experience fast breathing.
- You feel an increase in your pulse.
- You have a cough that lasts for more than a few days.
How to relieve this discomfort of shortness of breath?
- To relieve the discomfort, pregnant women are encouraged to sit up straight or stand up straight to keep shoulders back. This can reduce the pressure on the diaphragm. It also gives lung more room to expand so that you can breathe in more air in each breath.
- Please take things slowly to prevent a sudden increase in demand of oxygen from your body.
- Prop yourself up a bit with an extra pillow when you are in bed at night.
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