Shortness of Breath

Pregnant woman experiencing shortness of Breath

What causes it?

Shortness of breath can happen at any time during pregnancy. As your uterus grows, it presses against your rib cage. This leaves less room for your lungs to expand. For many women, shortness of breath stops when the baby gets bigger and moves down into your pelvis. For most women who are having their first baby, this happens about two weeks before labor begins.

What can I do about it?

• Very little can be done to prevent shortness of breath. Having good posture can help. Stand up straight. This will give your lungs room to expand.
• Try sleeping propped up on pillows.
• Try taking slow deep breaths.
• Raise your arms over your head, lifting your rib cage.
• Do not exert yourself too much.
• Wear loose clothing.
• Avoid smoking.

What if this does not help?

Tell your doctor about your problem. Shortness of breath can also be a sign that you do not have enough iron in your blood.
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