Colds and Congestion

Congestion - constant cold during pregnancy

Do you feel like you have a constant cold? Are you suffering from a stuffed up or runny nose, sneezing a lot and you can’t shift the symptoms?

In actual fact, feeling congested like you have a constant cold is common during pregnancy and up to 20% of mothers to be suffer from it. The medical term is rhinitus. Rhinitus is inflammation of the nasal passages.

If you do catch a real cold, then it could well be that the symptoms persist for longer than a couple of weeks. Ensure you rest in order to speed up your recovery.

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    • The increase in estrogen levels in a pregnant women may cause the blood vessels in the lining of the nose to swell. This swelling can cause congestion to the nasal area. The swelling can give you the feeling of having blocked nose.
    • Furthermore, increased blood volume may lead to enlargement of blood vessels in the nose, leaving your nose feeling tight and blocked.
    • Swollen and enlarged blood vessels in the nose can lead to irritation and the feeling of needing to frequently sneeze.
    • A further result of enlarged blood vessels is nose bleeds.
    • The symptoms could persist throughout your pregnancy, leaving you feeling like you have a constant cold.
    • In the case of a real cold, the symptoms could persist longer for pregnant women because the immune system is not as strong as it would normally be, due to the body having to focus its efforts on the growth of your baby.

Recommendations to ease pregnancy cold-like symptoms

    • Ensure you only use non-medicated products to help you ease the symptoms. If you are unsure, check with your doctor.
    • Keep yourself topped up with recommended levels of vitamins and nutrients.
    • Eat foods rich in vitamins and nutrients as well – whichever fruits and vegetables you can eat without getting Acid Reflux or feeling sick.
    • Keep moisturised tissues handy to avoid drying out your nose.
    • Stay well hydrated. This is also important because the blood volume increases by up to 50% whilst pregnant and therefore the body requires more fluid intake.
    • Sleep with your back and head elevated. Generally, sleeping elevated will help to soothe many different pregnancy complaints, such as feeling short of breath, so it is good to invest in a well supporting pregnancy pillow.
    • Use a diffuser to humidify the air in your bedroom and help you to relax. I recommend adding essential oils such as lavender, sage, majoram and chamomile. It is important to buy a trusted and certified brand of essential oils in order to avoid any harmful toxins being released into the air in your bedroom (read the label carefully before buying).

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