Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy – Causes and Cures

Pregnancy affects every inch of your body, even your nose. One of the most common symptoms during pregnancy is a stuffy nose. Sometimes a stuffy nose and allergies occur during pregnancy even among women who have not experienced them before. 

Yes, a stuffy nose is a symptom of pregnancy. A blocked up nose is just one of many changes or differences a woman can add to the list of pregnancy symptoms, due to the wonder hormone progesterone. During pregnancy, you may experience many a runny/stuffy nose or occasional nosebleeds.  Women also report an increase in nosebleeds during pregnancy, due to increased nasal congestion.

How to Cure a Stuffy Nose Due to Pregnancy

  • A pregnant woman can use (non-medicated) saline drops for a stuffy nose safely. Use in a neti pot kit for maximum relief.
  • Herbal teas help clear the sinuses (like mint, chamomile, lemon drop, or peppermint tea)
  • Spicy foods quickly clear and drain the sinuses (but might have the unfortunate effect of increasing pregnancy related heartburn)

A stuffy nose is a classic side-effect of pregnancy, but most nasal decongestant medicines are not safe. There may be times during pregnancy when using medicine is an option, depending on your doctor’s advice. Cromolyn based nasal sprays are clinically tested, and FDA recommended as safe for use during pregnancy. Benadryl contains the active ingredient cromolyn. The nasal spray Benadryl helps cure nasal congestion, and is one of the few safe medications doctors recommend during second or third trimester pregnancy.

Although you might not be able to use the best medical remedies for a stuffy nose during pregnancy, there are some natural cures that work:
These 3 natural cures have cleared my nose drastically, pregnant or not. I’m no medical expert, but highly recommend this non-medication, mostly green way to battle a stuffy nose.

Is a Stuffy Nose a Sign of Early Pregnancy?

Experiencing a stuffy nose in the course of pregnancy is really a typical phenomenon, and is an early pregnancy sign. At 9 weeks pregnant, your hormones drastically increase, and you may find yourself with a persistent stuffy nose. A big cause of stuffy nose during pregnancy is the increase of estrogen and progesterone around 9 DPO, as it also causes swelling in the mucous membranes that line the nose.

I often see mention of people having a stuffy nose at 2 weeks and that being a pregnancy symptom.

Studies have shown that pregnancy rhinitis does not directly affect pregnancy outcomes, especially in the first days of pregnancy. Even if you have no other symptoms, you may identify the budding bump from rhinitis caused by pregnancy.

Stuffy Nose and Nose Bleeding

Some women, because of increased blood volume and hormonal activity, also experience a stuffy nose together with nosebleeds. A large percentage of women experience nosebleeds together with nasal congestion as a pregnancy side effect because of changes in the hormone levels that can cause swelling of the mucus membrane in the nose. Ladies experiencing heavy nasal congestion in the course of pregnancy may commonly encounter bloody nose.

Nosebleeds during pregnancy are common and nothing to worry about, as the blood vessels in the body expand and the volume of blood pumping through the body also expand during pregnancy. To stop or cure a nose bleed fast, pinch your nose and hold your head up, so that the blood can’t flow from the nostrils. This helps the blood to clot faster, and end a pregnancy nosebleed quickly.

Stuffy Nose Caused by Pregnancy Vs. a Cold

A stuffy nose in the course of pregnancy does not necessarily mean you might have a cold. If you are stuffy nose is accompanied by a sore throat, sneezing or cough, then you may possess a cold. Higher amounts of estrogen during pregnancy can contribute to swelling in the mucous membranes lining the nose and even cause you to make more mucus (which closely mimics the signs of cold symptoms.)

Being Pregnant With a Stuffy Nose

I’m 34 weeks pregnant, and between the swollen ankles, chronic stuffy nose, and inability to breath properly anymore I find it difficult to enjoy many tasks. When pregnant and waking up with a stuffy nose, I didn’t even think of going to my doctor, just thought I was a bit run down or had a cold! I didn’t know what it was about being pregnant that caused me to sneeze, have a runny nose during the day, and then a blocked up nose at night.

The problem with stuffy noses and sneezing during pregnancy is that it’s probably not because of an actual cold, but a result of your pregnancy hormones. My advice: pregnancy symptoms are miserable enough, without suffering from an easily curable medical condition. As soon as you can, schedule a doctor visit to discuss the cause and most effective cure of your pregnancy stuffy nose.