Sinus Care During Pregnancy
Those of you who have experienced pregnancy – or witnessed it up close – can attest to one thing: it’s an ordeal. Between the back pain, the appetite issues and the sleep problems, it’s a wonder so many women make it to the finish line with their good minds intact.
One pregnancy health issue that’s discussed less often is congestion. This very common symptom of pregnancy has many causes, but the result is simple: it’s hard to breathe. As one article put it recently:
Apart from the fact that pregnancy complicates the treatment options, hormonal changes experienced by pregnant women also increase their chances of having sinusitis. Sinus problems are also very common in pregnant women because the hormones of pregnancy result in increased blood flow to the nasal passage which causes congestion and makes it very difficult for mucus to drain freely. The pooled mucus creates an environment for the growth of viruses and bacteria and this blocked sensation in turn causes headaches and pain behind the head.
The real problems begin for many women when they head to drugstore and behold a full aisle of medications “Not recommended for pregnant or nursing mothers.” Many of the most common OTC treatments for sinus pain, sinus pressure and sinusitis, it turns out, contain medicine that has been shown to enter the fetal bloodstream, or the mother’s breast milk. What can you do?
Aside from browsing this short list of approved medications, you can always try old stand-bys such as inhaling steam and using a neti pot. And if your sinus symptoms have graduated into a full-blown infection, then it’s time to visit a good ENT who can write a script for antibiotics.
If you have experienced congestion and sinusitis during pregnancy, just remember: It will go away. And someday, many years from now, the baby may even say thanks.