Causes of Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy

As their pregnancy progresses, a lot of women start looking for the causes of shortness of breath during pregnancy. The problem usually arises before the 20th pregnancy week and it disappears only after childbirth. It may help to have plenty of rest and to take things easy.

Causes of Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy

Common causes of pregnancy shortness of breath

It is a known fact that during pregnancy the uterus expands and it puts pressure on the diaphragm. As a result the lungs won’t be able to fully expand when you inhale.

Another thing you have to think about is that you have higher levels of progesterone that also contributes to your problems.

This is a pregnancy hormone that maintains the pregnancy. It relaxes the muscles and it stops the uterus from contracting. In the same time it also relaxes the muscles that support the lungs.

Carbon dioxide

Progesterone also changes the way the body reacts to carbon dioxide during pregnancy. Usually when carbon dioxide builds up in the body, there is a need to get rid of it. As the body becomes more sensitive, women will feel the need to breathe it out. This leads to a feeling of shortness of breath.

Additional causes

Naturally there could be some other causes of the problem as well, such as anemia and in serious cases, pulmonary disease or heart disease. In case you have severe shortness of breath or if it is also accompanied by pain in the chest, you should see a doctor at once.

When it comes to the causes of shortness of breath during pregnancy, you also have to keep an eye out for dizziness, coughing up blood, or persistent symptoms even after resting, because these might all indicate serious health issues.

What to do?

The only things that you could do to make the situation better is to have plenty of rest. Make sure that you don’t force yourself and if you have to do physical activities, you should take regular breaks. Women often experience shortness of breath if they have to stand for longer periods of time, so avoid such situations.

You can’t really avoid the causes of shortness of breath during pregnancy, but you can make them better.


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