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How does sneezing during pregnancy affect you and your baby?

By Sabina Rose
Food Pyramid -

How does sneezing during pregnancy affect you and your baby?Excessive sneezing during pregnancy can be another bothersome symptom of many pregnancy symptoms women have to deal with. Some women have noticed they tend to do a lot more sneezing than usual when they are pregnant.

Mucous membranes in the nasal passages tend to become inflamed causing sneezing during pregnancy as well as congestion, runny nose and coughing. If you notice these pregnancy symptoms which can mimic the common cold but you don’t have a fever or body aches, you are probably just one of the 30 percent of pregnant women who happen to have a case of the almighty “pregnancy rhinitis” which usually creeps up on the unsuspecting mommy-to-be at around her 8th week of pregnancy.

However, there is no need to be alarmed as the excess sneezing during pregnancy should subside after your delivery and will normally be completely gone about 2 weeks after the baby is born. Pregnancy symptoms such as sneezing causes the body to contract, so although there will generally not be any serious concerns over the excessive sneezing, in some cases there is a possibility of some back pain, discomfort in the jaw or damage to the respiratory tract.

One of the most common and embarrassing effects that sneezing during pregnancy causes is usually a small amount of urine leakage along with the sneezing. This is a result of the added pressure that is on the bladder as a result of pregnancy. In addition to pressure from the baby, there is also lots of bladder pressure that accompanies each sneeze. The harder the sneeze, the more pressure there will be on the bladder. Unfortunately, there is not too much that can be done about this leakage as it will go away when the sneezing subsides.

Here are some tips to help the sneezing to subside and in turn help with the leakage:

  1. Drink plenty of fluids
  2. Sleep with your head elevated
  3. Press at the lower outer edge of both the nostrils with medium pressure 30-40 times. This will stop the sneezing for a while.
  4. If you have a cold, drink lots of warm fluids throughout the day and avoid cold drinks whenever possible.
  5. Try to stick to a diet that includes lots of Vitamin C like citrus fruits and vegetables. Our bodies produce histamine and Vitamin C will help to lessen the amount that is produced which will cut down on the sneezing.
  6. Vacuum often as this will help to clear up allergens that cause sneezing.
  7. Rinse a washcloth in hot water and after you ring out the excess water hold it close to your nose and breathe, the steam will help.
  8. Sleep next to a humidifier or vaporizer at night.
  9. Try saline nose drops several times a day.
  10. Try an antihistamine that is safe during pregnancy (check with your physician for one that best for you) that will help with sneezing and other pregnancy symptoms.

You may have to try several of these options to get relief from sneezing during pregnancy and other pregnancy symptoms before you find the one that works for you.

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  • April

    This was completely helpful. 🙂

  • smcullen81

    I thought I was getting a cold until I hit my 9th week and my “im expecting” app on my phone let me know this is common…I sneeze a lot anyway, but it has been out of control lately…so annoying lol

  • Johncy Mahi

    This msg really a comforts me.now im in my 13th wk of pregnancy. Now my sneezing has increased. I really worry about it .as u mentioned I had cold and cough during my 9-10th week.thn subsidies aftr dt.but still this sneezing tortures me a lot.

  • Janice Gawith

    I have been sneezing all morning about every 10 mins. Does this mean I’m pregnant? I’m cramping a lot more then usual. I’m bloating and my breasts and back hurt a lot. I’m stuffy but not sick and I haven’t had my period yet so I’m not late but I’m just concerned and never gone through this before. It’s all new to me.

  • Jacqueline H.

    I’m so happy I came across this article. I suffer from allergies, I have all my life. When I became pregnant I stopped taking my Zyrtec cold turkey thinking it would harm my baby. I’ve taken 1 Zyrtec a day for the last 3 years. All I can tell you is I feel and think like I put myself through unnecessary pain and discomfort for no reason. When I was only 3 months pregnant we had the highest recording of pollen in our air down here in Miami, FL. Imagine that! My body was going crazy, I tried it ALL. The steam, the vapor, the ginger tea, nasal sprays, sleeping with my head elevated, warm towels… NOTHING HELPED. I would break down and cry because I felt like if I wasn’t breathing neither was baby Rubi. I eventually gave up and cried all night long, it was the epitome of a breakdown, all I wanted to do was chug a bottle of Nyquil. I eventually called my midwife and cried out some words, I don’t know how she managed to understand me but she assured me Zyrtec was a type B medicine and no birth defects have been found or ever reported while taking this medication. I happily went to walgreens and bought my bottle. I’m now 7 months pregnant and on my second bottle of Zyrtec, sometimes I skip 3 or 4 days just to slowly eliminate my dependence of it and other days I only take half.

    Last night with no warning or signs my nose started to tickle and BOOM mucus was now running down my nose, I ran towards the bathroom for some tissue and stayed in there maybe an hour blowing my nose and sneezing uncontrollably. I thought to myself this cannot possibly be my allergies my room is squeaky clean, I don’t feel bad, I have no pains, what is triggering this?? I came into the office for half a day because I’m exhausted but like I mentioned I’m happy I googled “what happens when I sneeze while pregnant” because now I know I belong to a 30% of women who encounter this uncomfortable and sometimes embarrassing “pregnancy rhinitis”

    The only thing I haven’t tried on this article is drinking more warm drinks vs. cold drinks, so that’s something I’ll begin to do immediately.

  • Sunitha

    I have the problem of sneezing before getting pregnant now am 11 week pregnant it is not reducing am worrying about my baby. Is it a hormonal problem or anything else..