Pregnant? Suffering from runny or stuffed nose? Do not worry. A stuffed nose or rhinitis of pregnancy as this condition is called, is a pretty common incident during pregnancy. About 30% of women suffer from this condition. Rhinitis can start as early as your second month of pregnancy and worsen as time goes by. The congestion usually eases soon after delivery and completely goes away after two weeks of giving birth.
Higher levels of estrogen during pregnancy contribute to production of more mucus and swelling of the mucous membrane. During pregnancy, the amount of blood also increases in your body, which may result in swelling of the tiny blood vessels in the lining of your nose and obstruction in the surrounding tissues.
Other hormones may also play a part. Here are some of the best remedies to overcome the problem of stuffy nose during pregnancy:
Remedies For Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy
Drink Plenty of Water
Drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep to maintain a healthy immune system. Avoid caffeinated fluids.
Elevate your Head while Sleeping
While sleeping, elevate your head. You can use several pillows or a “wedge” pillow to elevate your head. When your head is at the level of your heart, your nose tends to swell up more.
Use a Steam Vaporizer or Humidifier
Use a steam vaporizer or humidifier to put more moisture into the air. Keep it near your head at night. With more moisture in the air, your throat and mouth are prevented from drying out.
Keep in mind to keep the filter clean and use distilled water to avoid production of bacteria. Also be sure to turn off the humidifier or vaporizer during the day and air the room to avoid possible mold problems.
Take Steam Bath
Take a steam bath or a warm shower. It is very soothing and helps in relieving the congestion. You can also place a hot towel over your nose to help in de-congestion.
Remain Away from Irritants like Fumes
Avoid potential irritants like paint fumes, chemical fumes, or other toxins. Do not even think about smoking. Minimize your exposure to chlorinated water at the pool. Put away the stuffed toys as dust can gather in them and worsen your condition.
Low-impact, moderate exercises help in reducing the nasal congestion and rhinitis symptoms and optimizes general pregnancy health. However, do consult your doctor for the kind of exercises that you can do.
Nose Drops, Nasal Sprays or Nebulizers
You can try nose drops, nasal sprays or nebulizers to get relief from stuffy nose. Putting a small drop into each nostril helps in clearing mucus and drawing out swelling as well. However, these decongestants should not be over used.
Intake of Adequate Vitamin D
Intake of adequate vitamin D is also essential. Some studies have shown a connection between rhinitis and low Vitamin D levels. So be sure to spend dome time under the sun.
In case your blocked nose continues to make you miserable, you can take medicines on the advice of the doctor. It is best to take natural or herbal remedies which do not have harmful side effects. Drinking spicy hot soup, sniffing carvel can be of great help.