Pregnancy can give rise to many questions and concerns in a woman’s mind. What might have seemed normal and harmless up until then will suddenly leave you feeling worried and stressed. And one such thing can be sneezing during pregnancy. Moms-to-be usually worry if their constant sneezing can harm the baby in any way. Or if sneezing indicates an underlying health problem. If you too are a concerned mom-to-be, here’s all that you need to know about sneezing during pregnancy.
Sneezing During Pregnancy: Causes
Women can sneeze for many reasons during pregnancy:
1. Pregnancy Rhinitis
Women can experience a runny nose, stuffiness, and sneezing at any point during their pregnancy. This is called pregnancy rhinitis which causes nasal congestion. Pregnancy rhinitis usually resolves within 2 weeks of giving birth to your baby. During this period, women may sneeze more than usual. Though the exact cause for this condition is still not known, it’s probably because of all the hormonal fluctuations taking place in a woman’s body during pregnancy (1).
Women who had allergies before pregnancy will continue to experience the same during pregnancy as well, including sneezing being one of the allergic symptoms. Allergies can be seasonal such as those caused by pollen or hay or indoor allergies caused by pet dander or dust mites.
Allergies do not increase the risk of any adverse birth defects or outcomes such as premature babies or low birth weight (2).
3. Flu Or Cold
Pregnancy makes any woman more vulnerable to the nasty invaders causing cold and flu. During pregnancy, the immune system is extra careful not to mistake the fetus for a foreign invader. This makes them react slowly to the real invaders, thus compromising the immune system. So if you are sneezing, it could be likely because you have a cold or flu.
If you have a common cold, there’s nothing to worry about. However, if you suspect of having the flu or fever, consult your doctor immediately as it can be dangerous in some cases (3).
Will Sneezing Harm My Baby?
If you are concerned about sneezing during pregnancy, be rest assured that both you and your baby are safe. Sneezing isn’t a sign of a complication and it certainly won’t cause miscarriage. It’s important to note that if your sneezing is a symptom of flu or asthma, talk to your doctor right away (4).
If a mother suffers from flu, so does the baby. Similarly, if a mother is having trouble breathing, the baby won’t be getting enough oxygen that is needed. Women also experience round ligament pain where they feel a sharp pain around the stomach when they sneeze. But there’s nothing to worry as the pain is caused by the pressure on the ligament during a sneeze.
How To Manage Sneezing?
Whatever medications you take during pregnancy can be passed along to your baby as well. Even the over-the-counter ones which are considered safe otherwise can be harmful to your baby. So, it’s best to rely on home remedies or talk to your doctor before you consider taking any medications during pregnancy. Here are a few remedies that can provide you relief from nasal congestion and sneezing:
- Use a humidifier if the dry air is irritating your nasal cavities.
- If you are allergic to dust or mold, setting up an air purifier in your room might help.
- If you are suffering from a blocked nose, use a saline nasal spray.
- A neti pot with saline solution or distilled water can be used to clear out your sinuses.
- Keep your house clean and stay away from pet dander and pollen if you are allergic to any.
- Get a flu shot when you are pregnant for protection against the flu.
- Talk to your doctor about exercising as it can help boost your immune system.
- Include vitamin C rich foods in your diet to improve your immunity.
Women tend to sneeze a lot more during pregnancy. It is rarely a cause for concern. But if it is accompanied by any other symptoms or if it’s a symptom of flu or asthma, seek help by consulting your doctor.