Sneezing is as common during pregnancy as it is during the other times. Continuous sneezing can be tiresome but it doesn’t harm the mother or the baby. There could be various reasons for sneezing.
While there is nothing to worry about it, you would want to know the causes for sneezing during pregnancy, its effects on the mother and the baby, and the ways to deal with it. Read this MomJunction post to know all that and more.
What Causes Sneezing In Pregnancy?
Here are a few reasons why you could sneeze during pregnancy:
1. Low immunity: Pregnancy weakens your immunity and makes the body sensitive to allergies such as:
- Indoor allergies caused due to dust or pet dander (microscopic skin-shed of animals with fur and feather).
- Seasonal allergies caused due to pollen and hay. It is a common cause for asthma and aggravates the condition if you already have the condition.
As the immunity is compromised, it makes way for the viruses to invade your body, leading to common cold and flu.
2. Pregnancy rhinitis: It is nasal congestion caused without respiratory tract infection or an allergic cause. The condition, usually, disappears two weeks after delivery. A study has found that the rate of nasal congestion is 27% during the 12th week and 42% in the 36th week, indicating that nasal congestion increases in the third trimester (1).
Sneezing can give you a lot of relief from a blocked nose but during pregnancy, it could be painful too.
How Do You Feel While Sneezing?
Sneezing can lead to the tightening of the round ligament, which supports the uterus. The tightening can result in sharp, radiating pain in the lower belly. However, it is not harmful in any way. The round ligament looks like a band of connective tissues. It connects the groin to the front of the uterus thereby supporting the uterus (2).
Does Sneezing Affect The Pregnant Mother And Her Baby?
Sneezing, as mentioned earlier, is an inflammation of the nasal passage or throat that doesn’t pose any risk to the baby or the mother. However, asthma or the congestion of nasal passage can cause breathing difficulty in the mother, and compromise oxygen supply to the fetus. If you are feeling breathless due to sneezing for a long time, talk to your doctor.
Urine Leakage Due To Sneezing During Pregnancy
Urinary incontinence or urine leakage is common during pregnancy. The hormonal changes and the pressure exerted by the uterus on the bladder cause the urethra to relax involuntarily. It results in urine leakage while sneezing.
How To Deal With Sneezing?
Though harmless, sneezing is discomforting. You can get relief through some remedies at home. Here are a few tips to follow:
- Use a humidifier in the night to clear the nasal congestion.
- Steam inhalation or saline nasal spray also helps clear the congestion.
- Use a neti-pot with water or saline solution to get relief from the inflammation of the throat and the nasal passage.
- If you are allergic to dust or mold, then use an air purifier.
- Drink ginger water with a spoon of honey added to it. Ginger has medicinal properties that relieve cold.
- Eating cooked or raw garlic helps prevent infections.
- Add black pepper to salads and soups to get relief from throat inflammation.
- Hold your lower belly while sneezing. It can help avoid the pain in the round ligaments.
- If the urine leakage is frequent, wear a panty liner to prevent wetting.
- Eat healthy foods, including fruits rich in vitamin C, and take up mild exercises to boost your immunity.
Medical treatment is not required for sneezes but if they are unbearable and you want to get some quick relief, then you might try the below:
- Chlorpheniramine (Triaminic Allergy) and diphenhydramine (Benadryl) for sneezing. The recommended Chlorpheniramine dosage is 32mg in 24 hours.
- Antihistamines like loratadine work well for allergies. A dosage of 3,000mg of acetaminophen (Tylenol) in 24 hours is recommended for sore throat (3). You may also get a flu shot during pregnancy (4).
Though these medications are safe, we’d suggest you talk to your doctor before taking any medicines during pregnancy.
When Should You Consult A Doctor?
Sneezing is not associated with any complications during pregnancy. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, then talk to your doctor:
- Breathing difficulty
- Difficulty in eating and sleeping
- Chest pain or other respiratory discomforts
- Green or yellow-colored cough mucus
- A fever of 100 degrees or more
Pregnancy weakens your immune system, making sneezing and cold commonplace. While they are definitely irritating, they are not harmful and go away in a few days. While you wait for the problem to subside, you may use some home remedies to get relief.
Did you have frequent sneezing during pregnancy? Share your experience with us in the comment section below.
2. Shazia R. Chaudhry, Khalid Chaudhry; Anatomy, abdomen and pelvis, uterus round ligament; NCBI (2018)
3. Which over-the-counter cold medications are safe during pregnancy?; The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center
4. Pregnancy; American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists