During pregnancy, your circulatory system must become bigger ( expand) to be able to cater for you and your baby.
With this expansion comes an increase in the volume of blood in your body ( your blood volume increases by 40 to 45 percent, sometimesa bit more )
The blood vessels in your body , including those in your nose become wider to help with the flow of the extra blood in your body.
More blood flowing through your nose plus the increase in hormone levels in your body can sometimes lead to nosebleeds during pregnancy.
This problem during pregnancy is pretty common and usually nothing to worry about.
Its very common for you to experience this during your first trimester as this is when your body adjusts the most to all the changes going on. You can however have nosebleeds at any point in time during your pregnancy.
Blood flow from the nose is usually slow and easy to stop. If you happen to realise that you’re bleeding a lot from your nose and you’re unable to stop this bleeding, you need to head to the hospital right away. This is a problem that is usually dealt with at the E&T department.
Nosebleeds don’t affect your baby in any way ( if its not excessive)
Can you do any to prevent nosebleeds ?
There isn’t much you can do about pregnancy nosebleeds. To reduce episodes, you can :
Eat foods rich in vitamin C. It helps strengthen your blood vessels. Do not take vitamin c supplements without consulting your obgyn
Blow your nose or sneeze gently if there be a need to do so.
Avoid picking your nose.
Avoid air-conditioned rooms as it dries the inside of your nose
Keep the inside of your nose moisturised. You can use a bit of shea butter or vaseline if you aren’t allergic
Stay away from strong smells or anything that causes your nose to be irritated eg detergents , smoke , strong perfumes, etc.
Stay hydrated. This helps keep the inside of your nose hydrated as well.
What you should do should you have a nosebleed
Sit up straight and bend your head slightly.
Pinch your nose above the tip for some time. You can hold it for 10 to 15 minutes, during which time you will bleed through your mouth. Releasing earlier might cause you to bleed again.
You can put an ice pack on your nose or eat a piece of ice.
Don’t lie down or lift your head as you can swallow the blood . The blood can also get into your lungs if you mistakenly breathe it in with your head up. This can be life-threatening.
Should bleeding not stop, repeat steps above. If this does not help seek help immediately .
Avoid stressful activities for at least 12 hours after a nosebleed.
Pay attention to these symptoms below . If you happen to have a nosebleed with any of them, you need to seek help immediately as something more serious could be wrong with you :
Fever or temperature
High blood pressure
Vomiting / stomach pain / bloating
Swollen legs that happens suddenly
Begin bleeding after a fall ( head trauma)
Dark urine / light coloured poop
yellow eyes or skin
Ps: nosebleeds can sometimes be very severe during your third trimester. Your obgyn might recommend a cesarean delivery as a result of this if you’re at risk of severe nosebleeds during vaginal delivery.
Did you have nosebleeds during pregnancy?
By Dr. Dixie Costantini
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