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Trouble Breathing during Pregnancy

You may have noticed a change in your breathing pattern since you became pregnant. You may find that sometimes you feel short of breath or are more aware of a need to breathe. This change in breathing usually starts early in pregnancy, but it can slowly get worse late in pregnancy. It may get worse after mild exercise or any strenuous activity. It is caused by the changes that happen to your body during pregnancy.

If you are pregnant and have shortness of breath, it's important that you talk to your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider should decide if your shortness of breath is normal or if it's because you are developing a pregnancy complication.

If you suffer from mild shortness of breath due to normal pregnancy, here are some tips:

  • Rest for a short time when you have trouble catching your breath during activities such as walking, climbing short flights of stairs, or carrying packages.
  • Use good posture when sitting or standing to improve your ability to breathe normally, and
  • Use pillows to support your head and shoulders if you have trouble breathing during the night.

Disclaimer: This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information provided is intended to be informative and educational and is not a replacement for professional medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

HIA File preg5322.htm Release 13/2010

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