The body produces high levels of hormones during a pregnancy, to help in the nurturing and delivering of the baby.
These beneficial hormones come with their side effects too. These could range from mild discomforts to debilitating conditions.
Nasal congestion during pregnancy is one such mild discomfort caused by high levels of estrogen and progesterone in the body.
Nasal congestion affects around 30% of the women who are pregnant. It is also known as rhinitis. It generally starts around the 8th week and continue right up to childbirth.
The nose is lined with mucus membranes that swell when the estrogen levels rise in the body. This results in excessive mucus production that causes the nasal congestion in pregnant women.
Some women also experience bleeding from the nose due to the enlarged blood vessels that are carrying increased blood quantities. If you are experiencing only nasal congestion, it is a normal condition during pregnancy.
In case you have other symptoms like sneezing, coughing, sore throat, fever or swollen glands, you need to contact your caregiver immediately, as it may be the result of an infection.
Nasal congestion can be handled with something as simple as carefully blowing your nose clean. Do it gently as you do not want to cause any trauma to the already delicate blood vessels in the nose. Drink a lot of water and keep your head elevated when you sleep. Use a vaporizer or humidifier to maintain humidity levels in your home.
Do change the water every day to avoid bacterial growth. Avoid alcohol and cigarette smoke to keep irritants at bay, although this should already be on your list. If the condition does not ease, you may opt for saline drops after consulting your caregiver. Other nasal spray and antihistamines are off limits for nasal congestion when you are pregnant.