Causes Of Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy

Causes Of Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy
Causes Of Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy

Video: Causes Of Shortness Of Breath During Pregnancy

Video: Shortness of Breath During Pregnancy: When to Worry | Parents 2022, November

Scientists studied the risk of autism and other adverse birth outcomes among women who used antidepressants during pregnancy. Causes of shortness of breath during pregnancy During pregnancy, a woman may have difficulty breathing after physical activity such as climbing stairs. According to research, 60 - 70% of pregnant women experience shortness of breath. Doctors attribute this to an enlarging uterus, which pushes up the lungs and makes breathing difficult.


Shortness of breath during pregnancy - causes

While shortness of breath is a common symptom of pregnancy, your doctor may not always be able to pinpoint the exact cause.

Shortness of breath during pregnancy appears to be due to a variety of factors ranging from enlargement of the uterus to changes in heart function. Some women notice changes in breathing almost immediately, while for others, changes occur in the second and third trimesters.

Shortness of breath in early pregnancy

In the first trimester of pregnancy, the diaphragm rises 4 centimeters. The movement of the diaphragm helps the lungs fill with air. Some women notice at this time that they cannot take full, deep breaths. Changes in the diaphragm in pregnant women are often caused by an increase in the hormone progesterone. Progesterone plays an important role in fetal development and is a respiratory stimulant. The amount of progesterone in a woman's body increases during pregnancy.

In the second trimester, the heart starts to work harder, which can cause shortness of breath. The amount of blood in a woman's body increases significantly during pregnancy. The heart must work harder to move blood not only through the woman's body, but also across the placenta.

Shortness of breath during pregnancy - third trimester

During the third trimester, breathing may get better or worse depending on the position of the baby. Before the baby begins to turn and sink into the pelvis, the baby's head may be under the rib and press on the diaphragm, which can make breathing difficult. This type of shortness of breath usually occurs between 31 and 34 weeks.

Diseases that cause shortness of breath in pregnant women

While changes during pregnancy can cause shortness of breath, other medical conditions can also contribute to the problem. These include:

Bronchial asthma

Pregnancy can worsen existing asthma symptoms. A woman with asthma should talk to her doctor about safe treatments during pregnancy.


This type of heart disease can occur during pregnancy or immediately after childbirth. Symptoms include swelling of the feet, low blood pressure, weakness, and increased heart rate. Many women may initially attribute their symptoms to pregnancy, but the condition can seriously affect a woman's health and often requires treatment.

Pulmonary embolism

Pulmonary embolism occurs when a blood clot clogs the arteries of the lungs. Embolism can significantly affect breathing and cause coughing, chest pain, and shortness of breath.

Pregnancy, shortness of breath - what to do?

Shortness of breath can limit a person's physical activity. But there are several methods a pregnant woman can take to make breathing more comfortable.

Correct posture will allow the uterus to move away from the diaphragm as much as possible.

Breathing techniques Lamaze can help a woman during childbirth.

It is very important to take breaks and rest if shortness of breath occurs. Later in pregnancy, the woman is not able to perform the same level of physical activity as before.

If a woman has an underlying medical condition that causes shortness of breath, the doctor's recommendations should be followed.

Shortness of breath during pregnancy - when to see a doctor

Pregnant women should seek immediate medical attention for any of the following symptoms:

blue lips, fingers, or toes;

heart palpitations;

pain when breathing;

severe shortness of breath;


If shortness of breath is of great concern or if a woman is experiencing it for the first time, she should see a doctor. A doctor may order a computed tomography (CT) scan to rule out thrombosis as a potential cause.

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