*Originally published in August 2007
Nasal congestion in pregnancy is often not due to a cold, allergy (like hay fever) or sinus infection. Instead it’s due to the puffiness of membranes caused by the extra load of blood and tissue fluid that is common in pregnancy. This is not harmful to your baby, even if it feels as if you’re not getting enough air.
Sometimes puffy nasal membranes can lead to slight but irritating nosebleeds.
Nosebleeds in pregnancy are quite common and mostly just harmless as a blocked nose, and arise as a result of the excess cellular fluid in the membranous tissue.
If nosebleeds persist though, you should have this checked, as cauterisation of a tiny blood vessel might be required to fix the problem. Persistent nosebleeds might also be caused by raised blood pressure, so have your doctor check this out.
Your diet could play a role
Nasal congestion in pregnancy is often due to dietary changes. Many women eat substantially more dairy and grain products in pregnancy and these foods often cause extra mucus production and can aggravate the problem of a blocked nose.
Expecting women often increase their intake of these foods because they’re encouraged to have a higher calcium intake. Women also often turn to cookies, sandwiches and pasta as comfort foods during pregnancy. Reducing these foods mostly improves nasal congestion immediately.
Our experienced editors work with trained journalists and qualified experts to compile accurate, insightful and helpful information about pregnancy, birth, early childhood development and parenting. Our content is reviewed regularly by our panel of advisors, which include medical doctors and healthcare professionals.