It seems like during pregnancy, every part of the body is swelling. High levels of the pregnancy hormones like estrogen and progesterone increase blood flow to all mucous membranes of the body – including the nose. The swelling of the mucous membranes lead to a stuffy nose. With a stuffy nose, the pregnant patient ends up constantly blowing and sneezing, which can cause the occasional nose bleed.
Nosebleeds are quite common in pregnancy for the same reason of venous congestion due to hormonal changes. This might be a bit frightening, but it’s something you can easily manage at home. This usually starts at 16 weeks age of gestation and might get worse as the pregnancy progresses.
If the patient has allergies, this can aggravate the condition of nasal congestion. The feeling of stuffy nose persists and sometimes leads to post nasal drip. It’s helpful to know the ‘right blow technique’ (covering just one nostril then the other – you can google this). Short term over the counter decongestants/ antihistamines can provide relief. For nose-soothing moisture, one may opt to use mist humidifier. One may also take adequate amounts of vitamin C.
So does the nose literally grow big? It might seem like this because of the mucous congestion, but this subsides immediately after delivery.
About The Expert
DR. CHRISTIA PADOLINA, OB-GYN
Dr. Christia S. Padolina is the president of the Philippine Obstetrics and Gynecological Society (POGS) Foundation Inc. It is the premiere organization of obstetricians and gynecologists nationwide.
It was a dream come true for her to become a physician. Her mother was sickly and she had so much expectations on the healthcare system being on the other side of the equation. She is a graduate of the University of the East Ramon Magsaysay Memorial Medical Center. It was there that she realized that she wanted to become an obstetrician Gynecologist. She does not mind waking up in the wee hours of the morning as she finds delivering babies exhilarating.
Her subspecialty in Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology in the University of New Mexico in USA paved the way for better maternal care. She is locally and internationally known advocate for safe motherhood.
The views and opinions expressed by the writer are his/her own, and does not state or reflect those of Wyeth Nutrition and its principals.