As any biological mother knows, pregnancy has its ups and downs. When my sister-in-law was pregnant last year, she had a lot of trouble breathing, and I was fortunate enough to be able to spend a lot of time with her during that time and help her get through it.
Breathing and Pregnancy
One of the things that we did was visit a clinic where we learned the body needs a lot of oxygen during pregnancy. The body knows that you need more oxygen, and it begins to increase the production of progesterone. This little hormone supercharges your lungs, making you inhale more oxygen per breath. There is a change in the number of breaths that you take, but it is minuscule. If you find yourself dealing with this issue, don’t worry. Just be aware of the changes that are happening with you and take it slow.
Why Are You Having Trouble Breathing?
My sister-in-law was actually pretty scared about having trouble with breathing and was nervous that it might be affecting her baby. This issue started affecting her later on in her pregnancy and it’s because her belly had grown quite a bit during that stage, which is completely normal, and was putting strain on her body. Her doctor let her know, however, that the most common reason that women feel like they cannot breathe is because they might be carrying the baby high. This position adds pressure to the mother’s diaphragm and causes shortness of breath. Mothers carrying more than one baby might also experience this feeling.
What Can You Do About it?
Of course, my sister-in-law didn’t want to spend her entire pregnancy being completely uncomfortable, and so, together, we sought help so that she didn’t have to overexert herself. We learned that keeping a good posture when standing or sitting was very important, because slouching reduces the space in the chest cavity—which doesn’t allow the lungs to expand as they should. This can exasperate the issue and it actually did her a lot of good. She actually started considering doing respiratory theory so that she could get help regaining control of her breathing, but she ended up not needing to do that. If your issues can’t be solved on your own, though, then you might want to consider it for yourself. The therapist will teach you different breathing techniques to help improve your breathing. If you want to learn more, here is a resource that can tell you a little more about the type of training that such therapists go through so that they can help their patients get back on track.
Could it Be Anything Else?
Every pregnant woman is always nervous about something happening to them during pregnancy that could be affecting the baby and that’s definitely why some might get nervous about not breathing right. Another issue that you might want to consider is that you could be suffering from excessive amniotic fluid. That condition is rare and I’ve personally only ever known one person to go through this. What this means is that the fluid in your amniotic sac is made up of amniotic fluid though but not for too long. Basically, your baby swallows the fluid and continues to do so while urinating. At some point, the entire sac is just urine. A delicate balance must be kept, but sometimes this fails, resulting in too much or too little fluid. One symptom of the presence of too much fluid is shortness of breath. Another symptom is swollen feet and hands, which should prompt you to talk to your health specialist as soon as you can.
Hopefully, this information helps you deal with your breathing problems. Be sure to talk to your health specialist because he or she will be able to zoom in on why you are experiencing this issue.
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.