So you knew your body was in for lots of changes when you became pregnant, but no one told you that you might get a stuffy nose (along with the basketball belly, back pain and outie belly button that used to be an innie!).
Nearly a third of women will experience nasal congestion during pregnancy. Causes of this seemingly odd symptom include an increase in estrogen and increased blood flow, which can cause the blood vessels in your nose to constrict, causing congestion.
If your stuffy nose is accompanied by other symptoms, including cough, fever, or green or yellow mucus, you may have a virus or a bacterial infection. Sinus infections are actually more common in pregnancy, too. If this is the case, contact your doctor for treatment.
If your stuffy nose comes with itchy eyes and/or sneezing, you may have seasonal allergies—even to things you were never allergic to before. Just be sure to ask your doctor before you reach for any over-the-counter medications for allergies.
Is a stuffy nose an uncomfortable pregnancy symptom? Yes. Something to worry about? No. Your stuffy nose will go away after your baby is born. Until then, here are some ways to alleviate your discomfort:
- Use a saline spray, which you can buy at the pharmacy.
- Steam can help loosen a stuffy nose. Boil water in a pot, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam being careful not to touch anything hot.
- Elevate your head with extra pillows when you’re sleeping.
- Avoid irritants like second-hand smoke or paint fumes.