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Shortness of Breath during Pregnancy and Ways for Your Spouse to Combat it

Paul Banas
Author Paul Banas
Submitted 17-08-2006

Your spouse is now halfway through her pregnancy. At this stage, she may experience some difficulty in breathing. This may be because of progesterone, a hormone released during pregnancy that causes rapid breathing.

As pregnancy advances, shortness of breath may also be caused by the growing baby. As the baby occupies more space inside your spouse’s belly, the wall of the uterus pushes against her diaphragm. This restricts her lungs from expanding freely, and prevents her from breathing easily.

During the last stage of pregnancy, your spouse’s breathing may once again return to normal. This is because the baby ‘drops’ into the pelvis prior to delivery, releasing the pressure on her lungs, and allowing her to breathe more easily.

Here are some tips to help your spouse breathe better:

  • Keep an erect posture while sitting or standing. This will help create more room for the lungs and ease breathing.

  • Slacken the pace of life. Becoming more relaxed in her actions will naturally ease her breathing.

  • Have her sleep with a pillow under the back, so that the upper part of her body is slightly raised.

A mild degree of breathlessness during pregnancy is normal. However, if your spouse experiences severe difficulty in breathing, or if she develops breathlessness all of a sudden, you should check with her doctor immediately.