Coping with Breathlessness

Breathlessness is a common symptom throughout the pregnancy life cycle. It can happen as early as the first trimester and/or even as late as the third trimester. This is often normal and is usually harmless. Remember that although you may suffer from breathlessness often, it does not affect your baby. However if you find yourself breathless along with other problems such as dizziness, chest pain, rapid heart beat and pulse rate, fever, worsening asthma and vomiting blood because of strong cough bouts contact your doctor immediately. 

Coping with Breathlessness

Remember to keep her informed of any asthmatic or thyroid problem that you or your family members have.

You will mostly find yourself relieved of this problem when the baby starts dropping. This takes place a few weeks before your delivery and is often between Pregnancy Week 34 and Pregnancy Week 36.

You must avoid breathlessness during exercises while you are pregnant.


In the first half of the pregnancy life cycle, hormonal fluctuations increase the pregnancy hormones in your body. The hormone progesterone increases the amount of air taken into the lung with each breath. This allows more oxygen to be transported by your blood.

In the second half of pregnancy, your uterus starts pushing the diaphragm against your lungs. This prevents the lungs from expanding downwards with each breath and you may suffer from breathlessness.

Sometimes, the environment plays a role in triggering breathlessness. A few threats from the environment that induce breathlessness are humid weather, increased pollution, poor ventilation and crowded vehicles.


You can avoid breathlessness using the following tips:

Maintain a straight posture while sitting or standing.

Slow down your movements and reduce the pressure on your lungs.

Sleep with your head and upper part of your body raised on a pillow.

Change your positions often.


You can try the following techniques to ease your breathlessness:

Avoid foods rich in fat, sugar and salt and maintain a balanced diet.

Do exercises such as long walks and yoga after discussing with your doctor.

Practice relaxation techniques such as meditation.

With the help of a trainer, do breathing exercises such as abdominal breathing.

Discuss with your doctor about therapies such as acupressure, acupuncture and homeopathy with the help of a qualified person.