Breathing Difficulties at 7 Months of Pregnancy: Causes and Treatment

The difficulty in breathing while sitting or lying down during pregnancy can certainly cause concern for many expectant mothers, fearing its impact on the baby in the womb. Typically, this condition occurs only in the fourth month of pregnancy and gradually subsides. Why do mothers feel difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy? Is this condition dangerous for both the mother and the baby? Let’s find out!

Causes of difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy:

There are two main reasons why mothers may experience difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy:

  • The mother’s breathing rhythm may be affected by an increase in the hormone progesterone, causing her to breathe more quickly and deeply. This makes pregnant women feel more breathless.
  • In the last three months of pregnancy, the baby develops rapidly, causing the uterus to expand. This puts pressure on the diaphragm (the organ below the heart, separating the chest and abdomen). This diaphragmatic muscle plays a crucial role in the breathing process, aiding in the expansion and contraction of the chest, contributing to the inhalation and exhalation. Therefore, the pressure on the diaphragm, as it lifts and descends, becomes more challenging, leading to breathing difficulties for pregnant women.
Breathing Difficulties at 7 Months of Pregnancy

Breathing Difficulties at 7 Months of Pregnancy.

Does difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy affect the baby?

Many expectant mothers worry that difficulty breathing will result in the baby receiving less oxygen. However, this belief is entirely misconstrued. Difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy does not imply that the baby will receive less oxygen.

In the third trimester, the capacity of the mother’s lungs is restricted due to the uterus’s growth. Simultaneously, the respiratory control center in the brain is stimulated by the hormone progesterone, causing the mother’s breathing rate to increase. Although breathing may seem more challenging, the air will stay in the mother’s lungs longer, and the oxygen levels in the lungs will be sufficient to supply both the mother and the baby!

When should a mother pay attention to difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy?

Generally, difficulty breathing is not likely to have a significant impact on the health of both the mother and the baby. However, mothers should take note of the following warning signs and immediately contact a doctor:

  • Asthma (Bronchial Asthma): During pregnancy, asthma may worsen for expectant mothers but usually not to a severe extent. However, if the difficulty in breathing worsens in the third trimester, it is a warning sign. Schedule a medical appointment promptly to identify the cause and initiate early treatment.
  • Anemia: Anemia during pregnancy can also lead to difficulty breathing. Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, pale mucous membranes, and bluish tint to lips and fingertips. When experiencing these symptoms, contact a doctor for diagnosis. The physician will conduct blood tests, checking hemoglobin levels, iron concentration, and may prescribe iron supplements. Pregnant women should supplement 30-60 mg of iron per day during pregnancy to prevent iron deficiency anemia.
  • Pulmonary Embolism: This is a dangerous condition that requires immediate attention. If a mother feels chest pain, coughing, difficulty breathing, or experiences a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, etc., contact a doctor immediately. These symptoms could indicate a pulmonary embolism, where a blood clot obstructs the pulmonary blood vessels. Additionally, if difficulty breathing persists along with prolonged coughing for more than a few days, it’s essential not to ignore the symptoms and schedule a medical appointment promptly.
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What can a mother do to alleviate difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy?

Mothers can effectively address difficulty breathing through simple methods, such as:

  • Maintain Good Posture: Standing or sitting with a straight back, raised shoulders, and lifted head can help alleviate breathing difficulties. Avoid slouching, as it increases the pressure on the diaphragm, making it harder to breathe.
  • Sleeping Position: While lying down, mothers should consider a slightly inclined position with a higher head pillow. This can help reduce the difficulty in breathing.
  • Gentle Exercise: Engaging in light physical exercise can improve breathing patterns and reduce heart rate. However, it’s essential to consult with a doctor before starting any exercise routine. Yoga is a recommended option as it teaches proper breathing techniques, and its gentle movements help stretch muscles, improve posture, and make breathing easier.
  • Rest and Relaxation: Taking time to rest is crucial. Physical and mental relaxation can ease the mind and body. If anxiety about shallow breathing persists, the breath rate may become even shallower.
  • Balance Daily Activities: Striking a balance between exercise and rest is crucial. Avoid pushing too hard to accomplish something and forgetting to rest and relax. Pay attention to and respect the body’s limits.

While difficulty breathing in the seventh month of pregnancy is typically not dangerous and does not reduce oxygen supply to the baby, mothers should remain vigilant for warning signs. Don’t overly worry; this sensation tends to diminish as the due date approaches when the baby turns its head downward, relieving pressure on the diaphragm and lungs.

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