Sneezing During Pregnancy: Causes, Risks And Prevention

Sneezing During Pregnancy: Causes, Risks  And Prevention 1

Many pregnant women sneeze more than usual during pregnancy. Doctors call this “pregnancy rhinitis”.
Pregnancy rhinitis may begin at any stage during pregnancy and tend to stop within two weeks after childbirth.

Sneezing During Pregnancy: Causes, Risks  And Prevention 2


Most commonly, many doctors suppose that pregnancy rhinitis is related to hormonal changes in the body of the pregnant mother.

However, in addition, in reality, pregnant women may also sneeze many times a day because of one of the following reasons:

1. Allergies

If moms did have allergies before, they are still at risk of having allergy symptoms during pregnancy. Some may have seasonal allergies such as pollen or hay and allergies to other factors such as pet hair, dust, chemicals, etc.

A study evaluating data from the National Family Growth Survey, USA, claims that allergies during pregnancy do not increase the risk of low birth weight or preterm birth.

2. Cold or flu

When the pregnant have a cold or the flu, they will sneeze many times a day. This can make them feel very uncomfortable and tired.

Normally, the body’s immune system quickly responds to and protects the body from pathogens. However, when someone is pregnant, her immune system will have a mechanism to adjust to not mistake the growing baby in the womb as a harmful “aggressor”. This unintentionally weakens the immune system, by which the body will respond more slowly to real invaders, such as viruses that cause cold symptoms. This means pregnant women are more likely to catch a cold or other common illnesses.

In fact, the common cold doesn’t pose a risk to pregnant mothers or babies, but flu can be dangerous. If pregnant mothers suspect to have the flu or a fever, see the doctor right away for an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment.

Sneezing During Pregnancy: Causes, Risks  And Prevention 3


Luckily, sneezing during pregnancy does not negatively affect pregnant women and can not harm the fetus at any stage of pregnancy. However, excessive sneezing can be a warning sign that pregnant women are experiencing certain health problems, such as flu or asthma.

When a pregnant woman gets the flu, the fetus is also infected with the virus. When the pregnant have trouble breathing, the babies will not be getting enough oxygen. Therefore, if having influenza or asthma, moms should go to the doctor and talk to the doctor about current health status thoroughly. This will bring a healthier pregnancy.

Some pregnant women often experience throbbing pain around their abdomen when they sneeze. The good news is that it is not dangerous for both mothers and the fetus. Doctors call this round ligament pain. As the uterus grows with the development of the fetus, the tendons around the abdomen are stretched. Therefore, when pregnant mothers sneeze and cough, more pressure is put on the ligament, leading to pain.


During pregnancy, anything moms consume can be passed on to the babies. Therefore, moms need to be careful about what to take, especially medicine. There are several types of painkillers, antihistamines and anti-allergy medications that are safe to use during pregnancy. However, please note that before taking any medicine, moms need to consult doctors’ instructions.

To prevent sneezing during pregnancy, pregnant women can employ these below methods:

  • Clean the nose with a nasal spray bottle or physiological saline or distilled water.
  • Use a humidifier to humidify the air, avoid dry air stimulating the airways.
  • Use an air purifier to purify the air in the home and make moms feel more comfortable as some pregnant women may be allergic to certain factors such as mold, dust, smoke, etc.
  • Avoid irritants such as seasonal allergies (pollen allergies, hay) or pet hair, etc by wearing a mask, glasses when going outside, not coming close to pets or letting pets in living space. Besides, moms need to regularly change clothes and take a shower whenever coming home. 
  • Get a flu shot before getting pregnant. 
  • Control asthma: if having asthma, moms not only need to monitor health very carefully but also should talk to the doctor for an effective support plan when needed. 
  • Exercise regularly to help moms stay healthy and boost the immune system.
  • Use a garter belt to help reduce the feeling of abdominal pain when sneezing constantly.
  • Try a fetal position: try holding the abdomen or lying following the position of the fetus if experiencing abdominal pain while sneezing,

Consume foods that contain much vitamin C such as oranges, grapefruit, guava, cherry, vegetables, etc to help boost the immune system naturally.

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