Shortness of Breath in Pregnancy - Causes and Coping

Shortness of Breath in Pregnancy

Shortness of Breath in Pregnancy: Once you head towards the advanced stages of pregnancy, performing routine tasks might seem to be challenging for you. Even climbing the stairs could pose to be a serious issue for you. As per estimates nearly
60 % to 70 % of women experience some degree of shortness of breath when they are pregnant.

Doctors are known to relate this to the growing size of the baby on the lungs that would make it really difficult to breathe. Before we proceed ahead we need to figure out the reasons for the shortness of breath in pregnancy. Apart from the coping strategies you also need to be aware of when is the right time to get in touch with a doctor.


The shortness of breath is one of the common symptoms of pregnancy, but it is always not possible for the doctor to figure out one common cause. Shortness of breath when you are pregnant could occur due to numerous reasons, the growing baby, and changes in the heart. In the case of some women, they notice changes in their breathing pattern on an immediate basis, though others can figure it out in the second or third trimester of pregnancy.

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First Trimester:

The fetus does not have to be really large in order to support the growing demands of a baby. For this reason, the treatment of respiratory infections in pregnant women topples the charts. The hormones have an important role to play in the development of a baby. In fact, the levels of the hormone that a woman possesses are expected to increase during the tenure of pregnancy. To breathe fast does not cause shortness of breath in any way; women are known to witness changes in the breathing patterns.

Second Trimester:

For some women shortness of breath tends to be noticeable during the second tenure of pregnancy. The baby is at a growing phase and it puts a considerable degree of pressure on the abdomen leading to shortness of breath. The manner in which the heart functions also contributes to shortness of breath in pregnancy.

The levels of blood found in the body of a woman vary significantly varies during the period of pregnancy. The heart has to really pump harder so that the blood moves across the body and on to the placenta. This increased load during the second trimester of pregnancy can make a woman prone to shortness of breath. To a certain degree, medicine for respiratory disease in pregnancy can provide relief.

Third Trimester:

Once you reach the third trimester of pregnancy, breathing does is expected to become a lot easier once again would depend upon the head position of the baby. Once the baby starts to turn and their head drops on to the pelvis the head of the baby might feel as if it is under a rib and pressures against the diaphragm that would make it really difficult to breathe.

As per medicine expert’s shortness of breath occurs during 31 t 34 weeks of pregnancy.

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