One of the myriad conditions that affect expecting mothers is pregnancy rhinitis. Know about its troublesome symptoms, and a few tips to deal with it.
While pregnancy is a phase which can create waves of happiness and excitement in every woman’s life, it may also come with a bagful of ill symptoms and conditions including pregnancy rhinitis. This condition is nothing but the inflammation of nasal tissues and blood vessels, in the absence of cold, flu or any kind of allergies.
The major factor which causes such an inflammation of the nasal passages, is the changing levels of estrogen in the body. This hormonal imbalance is triggered by the body, when it prepares for pregnancy, thus causing the lining of the mucous membranes to swell up. This leads to stuffy nose, irritation of the nasal passages, sneezing, etc. In addition to this, during pregnancy, there is an increase in the volume of blood in the body. This also causes inflammation of nasal tissues.
The main difference between common cold and pregnancy rhinitis, is that the former is caused by a viral or bacterial infection, while the other is the result of hormonal changes.
The precise set of symptoms, and their severity, often varies with each individual woman. However, the commonly observed symptoms include:
- Nasal congestion
- Sneezing, which might also be accompanied with cough
- Itchy nose
The condition of rhinitis during pregnancy is nothing more than an annoyance, and there are several types of methods which easily help in dealing with the symptoms. The affected mothers can avail decongestants, antihistamines, or saline drops. Regarding the use of decongestants and antihistamines, it is advisable to consult the doctor, as they could harm the fetus. Saline drops are considered to be the safest, and are one of the most recommended methods for relief from the symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis.
Apart from medications, expecting mothers can also benefit from a few self-care measures. These may not cure the condition, but would surely relieve the symptoms of rhinitis during pregnancy. These include:
- Drink plenty of liquids like chicken soup, hot broths, steamed vegetable soup, ginger tea, etc. These provide a lot of help in reducing stuffy nose.
- Avoid caffeine-based drinks and alcoholic beverages, as they tend to dehydrate the body, which may worsen the symptoms.
- Inhale steam and/or take a warm shower in a steam-filled bathroom.
- Take some black cumin seeds, and place them in a piece of cloth, making a pouch. Now, close one nostril, and sniff the pouch using the other nostril.
- Dip a cotton ball in peppermint oil, and inhale the aroma.
- Most expecting mothers find it comfortable to sleep with an extra pillow at night. This position may help in clearing up the blocked mucous passages.
- Although expecting mothers do not have much scope to do a lot of exercises, simply taking a walk also helps in clearing up nasal congestion.
As mentioned, pregnancy rhinitis is not a severe condition to be concerned about. However, if the symptoms seem to persist beyond ten days, consult the appropriate professional, rather than risking your health, as well as that of the unborn child.
Disclaimer: This HerHaleness article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.