Early Signs of Pregancy: discharge, sore and hard nipples, and more.

Moving from one room to another never caused you to be short of breath before, so why do you feel like you ran a 100-meter sprint every time you walk? Shortness of breath is common during pregnancy, but there are ways that you can work to ease the feeling of exhaustion.

What causes shortness of breath?

There are two causes for shortness of breath in pregnancy. The first occurs during the second trimester during which hormones increase the frequency of breaths you take to increase the oxygen supply to the body for the growing fetus. This can leave you feeling like you need to gulp air all the time. The second occurs during the third trimester when pressure from the growing uterus may reduce the space lungs have to expand. This leaves you feeling like you are always taking short breaths.

While shortness of breath is common during pregnancy, extreme cases are something your attending physician needs to know about. Extreme shortness of breath can lead to hyperventilation and fainting spells, both of which can be detrimental to you and your baby.

How is shortness of breath treated?

Standing straight with proper posture helps to lengthen the body and relieve pressure on the lungs. Sleeping on your left side may also help you breathe easier throughout the night. You may need to relax a bit and ease up on exercise activity if shortness of breath is a problem. There is no reason unless specified by the doctor, to stop exercise during pregnancy, but getting out of breath from extreme workouts will not help shortness of breath.

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Third Trimester of Pregnancy