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Shortness of breath during pregnancy, pregnancy and childbirth

The second trimester is called the happiest at times of pregnancy, when the first fears and nausea of ​​toxicosis recede, but the wonderful weight under the heart is still not very drawn to the ground.

Starting from the fourth to fifth month, the woman’s body undergoes changes visible to a prying eye, and the internal restructuring affects not only the hormones, but also the anatomical position of the organs. With each new week, the increasing uterus in size squeezes the digestive tract organs and diaphragm and shifts them from their usual place, causing such unpleasant symptoms as heartburn and shortness of breath.

Who is guilty?
If before pregnancy you did not experience overweight problems and were quite active, the first manifestation of dyspnea can be pretty scary: a condition where you literally do not have enough air and you feel like a fish thrown on the beach is really very unpleasant.

In most cases, shortness of breath is not dangerous for the expectant mother and fetus, but to tell the supervising doctor about the new symptom still follows: in addition to the displacement of organs, the cause of shortness of breath may be anemia – a lack of iron in the blood. Diagnosis is carried out using a blood test, and in the case of a micronutrient deficiency, a course of iron preparations is prescribed.

Typically, shortness of breath is manifested after physical exertion, fast walking and climbing stairs, but it can also occur at rest. Starting from the sixth month of pregnancy, doctors recommend that you stop resting on your back, since the heavy uterus presses down the inferior vena cava, and the feeling of lack of air can overtake even in sleep.

What to do?
It is rarely possible to completely avoid shortness of breath during pregnancy, but it is quite possible to minimize its manifestations with the help of fairly simple techniques. The essence of these methods is reduced, firstly, to the release of the diaphragm due to the displacement of the center of gravity downward, and secondly, to a natural increase in the circulation of oxygen in the respiratory organs.


Clothing: the styles of dresses, tunics and pants for pregnant women do not accidentally take the form of loose robes – their task is to reduce the pressure on the growing belly and the cramped chest. Starting from the fourth month of pregnancy, exclude any outfits with belts and tight bodices.

Nutrition: salt-free diet and weight control perform not aesthetic, but therapeutic and prophylactic function. Any fluid retention in the body and weight gain increases the load on the internal organs, including the diaphragm. Fractional feeding in small portions will not overload the stomach and prevent pressure on the diaphragm from the digestive tract.

Physical activity: Pregnancy is not a time for feats in the gym, but regular and long walks in the fresh air improve blood oxygen saturation, reduce the appearance of shortness of breath and improve emotional mood.

Fitness yoga for pregnant women can also bring some benefit. Asanas, specially adapted to the anatomy and physiology of a pregnant woman, do not just make breathing easier, but they learn to control the position of internal organs and choose poses where the load on the diaphragm is minimal.

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