Ray Fagan, Midwifery Sister / Supervisor of Midwives
Q. “I’m 20 weeks pregnant and have noticed that I get short of breath very easily. Is this normal?”
A.“Yes this feeling is entirely normal and many women feel this sensation.
You need more oxygen in pregnancy and your body adapts to this need in several ways.
An increase in hormones particularly progesterone directly affects your lungs and stimulates the respiratory centre in your brain although the number of breaths you take each minute actually changes very little, the amount of air you inhale and exhale increases significantly.
Often in early pregnancy there is a heightened awareness of the need to breathe deeply.
The feeling is normal and harmless. Sit up straight and keep your shoulders back when sitting to allow your lungs to expand as much as possible and when in bed prop yourself up with some extra pillows. Some women feel more comfortable lying on their left side.
Talk to your midwife or doctor at your antenatal visit and they will reassure you that all is well.”