The Common Uncommon Side Effect of Pregnancy: "Pregnancy Nose"

The Common Uncommon Side Effect of Pregnancy: "Pregnancy Nose"

Pregnancy brings about a lot of physical changes for expecting mothers, from weight gain to stretch marks, but for some women, it can also affect the shape of their nose. Anum Rubec, a 33-year-old content creator from TikTok, recently shared her experience of having a swollen nose during her pregnancy, which she says made her "traumatized and barely recognize [her] nose anymore". Her posts have sparked a conversation among other pregnant women on the platform, who have also been documenting their experiences with what is known as "pregnancy nose" or "pregnancy rhinitis".

@anumrubec I’m traumatized and barely recognize my nose anymore 😩😩😩 #pregnancynose #pregnancysymptoms #pregnancyswelling #preeclampsiaawareness #preeclampsia #pregnancyedema #swellinginpregnancy #pregnant #noseswelling ♬ Devil Eyes - There I Ruined It

The exact cause of pregnancy nose is not well understood, but it is thought to be related to the hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Pregnant women produce about 50% more blood and body fluids to meet the needs of the growing fetus, according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA). This can cause fluid retention, which can make the nose appear fuller and rounder. Increased levels of estrogen, a hormone that is present in higher levels during pregnancy, may also contribute to the swelling by changing how the body retains fluid.

The symptoms of pregnancy nose can vary from woman to woman, but they typically include a stuffy nose, runny nose, and nasal congestion. In some cases, like Rubec's, the swelling can be quite severe and change the shape of the nose temporarily. However, it is worth noting that nose swelling during pregnancy is usually not permanent and it usually goes back to its normal size within six weeks of giving birth.

Despite the temporary nature of pregnancy nose, it can still be a source of distress for some women. Rubec said she felt "traumatized" by the changes in her nose and that she "barely recognize [her] nose anymore". In her posts, she has been using the hashtag #swolleneverywhere to raise awareness of this condition and to provide a support system for other women who might be going through a similar experience.

Another pregnant woman, TikTok user Kaylyn Hill, shared a video in which she said, "Y'all want to talk about pregnancy nose? It gets progressively worse." She also added that pregnancy nose was one of the physical changes that she wasn't expecting and that it made her feel self-conscious.

@kaylyn.hill It gets progressively worse🫠🫠#momtok #newmom #ftm #rainbowbaby #pregnancy #ttc #ttcjourney #librababy #pregnancynose ♬ Devil Eyes - There I Ruined It

While pregnancy nose is generally a harmless condition, there are some cases where it can be a symptom of a more serious problem. For example, Rubec said her blood pressure was "through the roof" during her second trimester, and this combined with the abnormal level of swelling on her face raised a red flag with her doctor. She was diagnosed with preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication characterized by high blood pressure and signs of damage to other organs.

The APA advises pregnant women to contact their healthcare provider if they notice any sudden swelling, as it can be a sign of a more serious problem. In Rubec's case, her nose swelling was a symptom of a greater problem: High blood pressure. This required more frequent checkups and stress tests throughout the remainder of her pregnancy. However, with proper medical care, she was able to deliver a healthy baby via C-section at full term (37 weeks).

It is important for pregnant women to remember that each woman's experience is unique, and that not everyone will experience pregnancy nose. However, for those who do, it can be a source of distress, which is why it is important for them to know that they are not alone, and that it is a condition that is normal and temporary. The support of friends and family, as well as the online community, can be very helpful in navigating this physical change during pregnancy.

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