Many women experience a stuffy nose during pregnancy, and it can be really aggravating. Up to 30% of pregnant women have nose congestion that’s not caused by allergies or a cold. It’s caused by the rising levels of the estrogen hormone during pregnancy. Those higher levels of estrogen cause the mucous membranes in your nose to enlarge, which causes congestion and even nosebleeds.
During the night, you might try putting on nasal strips, like the ones made by Breathe Right that are meant for preventing snoring. Also, sleep with an extra pillow under your head, to keep it raised.
Since you probably don’t want to wear a nasal strip during the day, you can try a saline nose spray and apply a bit of Vicks VapoRub to your nostrils. Try taking a warm shower to get the benefits of the steam, which will temporarily make congestion less severe. Another way to get the benefits of steam is to run a washcloth under the faucet while the water is hot then hold it up to your face, and breathe deeply.
Another idea we have heard is drinking this garlicky brew:
- Boil four pieces of chopped up garlic in one cup of water for around five to ten minutes
- Remove the garlic and let the water cool down
- Slowly sip the concoction and breathe easier
If your stuffy nose becomes too much to take, taking an over-the-counter antihistamine med may help. Two that seem to be considered safe for pregnancy are Loratadine (Claritin) and Diphenhydramine, (Benadryl). But, make sure to ask your doctor before taking any medication while you’re pregnant. The good news is that your stuffy nose should get better soon after you give birth, and be totally gone within a couple weeks after you give birth.