Difficult breathing during pregnancy - dyspnea
Dyspnea or "shortness of breath" is a common symptom of pregnancy. However, pregnant women are wondering if the heavy and intrusive breathing they manifest does not have much deeper causes and does not suggest certain pregnancy problems. Better understand dyspnoea and find out if this is the case or not to worry!
Dyspnea is a disturbance of the rhythm, frequency and amplitude of normal respiratory movements. We say that a person suffers from dyspnoea when they have a "shortness of breath" or a difficult, difficult breathing.
Why does the feeling of "shortness of breath" appear at the beginning of pregnancy?
In the case of pregnant women, dyspnoea may appear right from the beginning of pregnancy, but it does not manifest in its full definition, but as breathlessness, without a specific frequency.
They have an extremely short duration of time, after which the breathing returns to normal.
The appearance of the fetus in the mother's womb completely changes the body and the needs that the pregnant woman had until the moment of conception.
One of the changes occurs in the level of oxygen it consumes: since the pregnancy settles, the need for oxygen increases, to reach the fetus that develops in the womb. The consumption of a part of oxygen by the fetus, from the total inhaled by the mother, can create for the pregnant woman such small "gaps" in the breath, which give her the feeling that, for a moment, she has no air.
With the installation of pregnancy in the body of the woman, changes also occur at the cardiovascular level: blood volume and heart rate changing radically.
Cardiac output begins to change right from the first trimester of pregnancy, and this is also felt in the mother's breathing. Blood volume and blood flow, blood pressure and heart rate change have changed since the first weeks of pregnancy. There is a slight increase in them, then sharpening in the third quarter.
Causes of dyspnea in the latter part of pregnancy
As the fetus develops, breathing becomes more and more difficult, fatigue settles more easily, and the future baby consumes more and more oxygen.
Here are some changes that lead to the appearance of heavy breathing in an advanced task:
- the pressure exerted on the diaphragm (and its displacement by about 3 cm) by the constantly expanding uterus;
- increasing the level of hormones, especially progesterone, which has the effect of inhaled breathing, creating the mother's need to breathe deeply;
- the relaxation of the bronchi and the lungs, due to the increased level of hormones, makes breathing difficult.
How to improve the symptoms?
Dyspnoea is normal in pregnancy and is determined by the changes that occur in the body. Generally, by week 34 of pregnancy they will disappear with changing baby's position and lowering it into the pelvis.
Until then, try to use more pillows when sleeping, to support your head and back. They will help you breathe easier and not put even more pressure on the diaphragm, respectively on the lungs!
In the last trimester of pregnancy, prolonged rest and avoidance of exhaustion are recommended.
If you feel your breathing becoming more and more difficult, raise your hands above your head and breathe a few times.
It is recommended to perform breathing exercises throughout the pregnancy, both to provide the fetus with the oxygen needed for optimal development, but also to facilitate the passage of dyspnoea crises and the preparation of birth, when breathing is required at maximum.