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Newborn and Infant Care

Pregnancy (shortness of breath)

08/25/1997

Question:

i am 30 wk.s pregnant and i am sometimes short of breath. is this normal?

Answer:

During pregnancy there are a number of changes that occur in the respiratory system. As the pregnancy progresses and the uterus grows it causes the diaphragm to elevate. This causes the breathing pattern at rest to change from abdominal to thoracic. Some pregnant women experience shortness of breath during late pregnancy. However, there are a variety of causes for shortness of breath besides pregnancy. Some of these include changes in your health state, activity, or high humidity. Since shortness of breath is a new symptom for you, you should consulate your health care provider to determine the exact cause of your shortness of breath.

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Response by:

Tina   Weitkamp, RNC, MSN Tina Weitkamp, RNC, MSN
Associate Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
University of Cincinnati