What can I take for a blocked nose when pregnant?

A blocked nose in pregnancy is often not due to a cold, allergy (like hay fever) or sinus infection. Instead it’s because of the puffiness of membranes caused by the extra load of blood and tissue fluid that is common in pregnancy. This is not harmful to your baby, even if it feels as if you’re not getting enough air.

Sometimes puffy nasal membranes can lead to slight but irritating nosebleeds.

Nosebleeds in pregnancy are quite common and mostly just harmless as a blocked nose, and arise as a result of the excess cellular fluid in the membranous tissue.

If nosebleeds persist though, you should have this checked, as cauterisation of a tiny blood vessel might be required to fix the problem. Persistent nosebleeds might also be caused by raised blood pressure, so have your doctor check this out.

ALSO SEE: Should I worry about nosebleeds during pregnancy?

Your diet could play a role

Nasal congestion in pregnancy is often due to dietary changes. Many women eat substantially more dairy and grain products in pregnancy and these foods often cause extra mucus production and can aggravate the problem of a blocked nose.
Expecting women often increase their intake of these foods because they’re encouraged to have a higher calcium intake. Women also often turn to cookies, sandwiches and pasta as comfort foods during pregnancy. Reducing these foods mostly improves nasal congestion immediately.

Self-help tips

  • The homeopathic remedy Nasonsinus capsules can help when you have a congested sinus with headaches, loss of smell and taste, and mostly accompanied by bad breath.
  • Sinfrontal homeopathic tablets are safe and excellent for allergic sinusitis, hay fever or rhinitis, accompanied by lots of sneezing, profuse, watery mucus discharge, burning of skin around the nostrils and the need to constantly blow your nose without any relief from congestion.
  • Rinse your sinuses by mixing together a salt, bicarbonate of soda and water mixure – dissolve a pinch each of table salt and bicarb in 200ml of warm tap water, pour a little into a cupped hand and sniff up into the sinuses followed by thorough nose blowing.
  • Dilute a capful of Friar’s Balsam in a bowl of boiling water. Lean over the bowl and cover your head with a towel. Breathe in the vapour. Be careful not to burn yourself.
  • The tissue salt remedies Nat mur and Nat sulph help balance fluid distribution in the body while causing no adverse effects – take one tablet three times per day.
  • Use of homeopathic nasal sprays and creams in pregnancy is safe and can help many women.
  • Run a humidifier at night with a few drops of eucalyptus oil in the dispensing chamber to soothe nasal membrane linings, making breathing easier.

More about the expert:

Sister Lilian has been a leading South African pregnancy and parenting advisor for many years, is a best-selling author and has often appeared on radio and TV, and in parenting magazines, as South Africa’s go-to parenting expert. Some of her books have even been translated into Spanish, Romanian and Afrikaans. As a qualified midwife, nurse, reflexologist and natural healthcare practitioner who began her independent practice in 1988, she has helped countless parents find responsible, natural solutions to any of their parenting concerns. Read more about Sister Lilian here.

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