Breathless: Navigating Pregnancy Rhinitis in Your Third Trimester

  A pregnant woman with rhinitis third trimester

Breathless: Navigating Pregnancy Rhinitis in Your Third Trimester

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey filled with joy, anticipation, and sometimes, a few unexpected surprises. One such surprise is Pregnancy Rhinitis, a condition that can leave expectant mothers feeling breathless and congested. In this article, we will explore the ins and outs of Pregnancy Rhinitis, its symptoms, causes, and risk factors, as well as best practices for managing and treating it during pregnancy. Finally, we will discuss possible complications and tips for maintaining respiratory health during pregnancy.

What is Pregnancy Rhinitis and its Common Symptoms?

Pregnancy Rhinitis is a condition characterized by nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose, which affects pregnant women, particularly during their third trimester1. Common symptoms of Pregnancy Rhinitis include:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Postnasal drip
  • Itchy or watery eyes
  • Sinus pressure or headaches

Causes and Risk Factors Associated with Pregnancy Rhinitis

The exact cause of Pregnancy Rhinitis remains unclear, but it is believed to be related to hormonal changes during pregnancy, specifically the increase in estrogen and progesterone levels2. These hormonal changes can cause the blood vessels in the nasal passages to swell, leading to nasal congestion and other symptoms. Risk factors for developing Pregnancy Rhinitis include:

  • A history of allergies or asthma
  • A family history of Pregnancy Rhinitis
  • Exposure to environmental irritants, such as tobacco smoke, dust, or pet dander

Best Practices for Managing and Treating Pregnancy Rhinitis

While there is no specific cure for Pregnancy Rhinitis, there are several ways to manage and treat the symptoms during pregnancy:

  1. Saline nasal spray: Using a saline nasal spray can help to alleviate nasal congestion by thinning mucus and reducing inflammation in the nasal passages3.
  2. Nasal irrigation: Rinsing the nasal passages with a saline solution can help to clear mucus and reduce inflammation.
  3. Humidifier: Using a humidifier in your bedroom can help to moisten the air and reduce nasal congestion.
  4. Elevate your head while sleeping: Sleeping with your head elevated can help to reduce congestion and improve breathing.
  5. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water can help to thin mucus and reduce congestion.
  6. Avoid allergens and irritants: Minimizing exposure to allergens and irritants, such as smoke, dust, and pet dander, can help to reduce symptoms.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any new treatments during pregnancy.

Possible Complications if Pregnancy Rhinitis is Left Untreated

If left untreated, Pregnancy Rhinitis can lead to complications, such as:

  • Sleep disturbances due to nasal congestion
  • Increased risk of sinus infections
  • Reduced quality of life due to persistent symptoms

Additional Tips for Maintaining Respiratory Health During Pregnancy

Here are some additional tips for maintaining respiratory health during pregnancy:

  • Practice good hand hygiene to reduce the risk of respiratory infections
  • Avoid exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine to support overall health
  • Discuss any concerns or symptoms with your healthcare provider

Pregnancy Rhinitis can be an uncomfortable and frustrating condition for expectant mothers. By understanding its symptoms, causes, and risk factors, as well as implementing best practices for managing and treating it, pregnant women can breathe easier and enjoy a healthier pregnancy.


  1. American Pregnancy Association. (2020). Rhinitis of Pregnancy. 
  2. Nationwidechildrens - Pregnancy Rhinitis: Relief for Ongoing Nasal Congestion Is Possible
  3. PregnancyBirthBaby - Pregnancy rhinitis
  4. Natural Ways to Clear up Rhinitis of Pregnancy
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