Pregnant and Out of Breath

Updated on March 31, 2008
B.K. asks from Ithaca, NY
6 answers

Hi Mommies! I am currently 28 weeks pregnant with my second child, and have a minor (I hope) complication with too much fluid. Aside from the worry that goes along with that, I always feel like I can't breathe. And not just a little out of breath, but feeling like I am stuck under water and can't come up for air. My blood pressure is supposedly ok, and between my 3 different doctors (one is a high risk MD) I have heard that I don't eat enough protein, I'm "just pregnant", and I supposedly am very anxious and these are panic attacks. Except that I do eat quite a bit of protein, and I don't feel like anything is bothering me when they occur. Mostly it is the first hour or two in the morning, and then again when I am trying to get comfy at night in bed. I start feeling like I can't breathe, then I get kind of winded and lightheaded, sometimes nauseous, and my limbs get a little tingly. Has anyone had this experience? It is really getting in the way of me getting my 2 year old ready and out the door so that I can get to his daycare and work. I wind up spending the first hour of my work day just sitting at the daycare because I am too lightheaded and nauseous to drive. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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So What Happened?

Thanks so much for all your suggestions. Several people said this feeling would diminish as the weeks went on, so I am trying to be patient. If it didn't interfere so much with my work, I wouldn't even care that much, but being an itinerant speech therapist on a very tight schedule, it does get in the way when I have to take so many breaks to wait for it to pass. It's so great to know that other moms can help us get through stuff just by offering support. Thanks for being there for me!


More Answers



answers from Utica on

The first thing I might try is sleeping partially upright, this will help keep your diaphram from being pushed on so much and help you breathe easier. If that doesn't help, I would suggest getting a second opinion. Even if they are panic attacks there are medicines you can take while pregnant to help. Having suffered from them myself, It doesn't have to feel like anything is bothering you for a panic attack to occur. There is usually a trigger but you may not even know what it is.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hi B.,
Congrats! I'm 24 weeks pregnant. I haven't had what you're talking about, but have read a bit about it. At times the baby can position itself so it's really hard for you to breath. The best advice I read was to get on your hands and knees; looks crazy, but gravity pulls baby away from everything it's blocking. I have trouble digesting, and feel stuffed all the time, and this is the only that relieves it. I get comfy kneeling on the sofa and drape myself over bunches of pillows. Good luck!!!!!



answers from Binghamton on

I experienced the exact same thing when I was pregnant last yer. It is a very uncomfortable feeling - very suffocating. I would get a very rapid heartbeat along with the difficulty breathing, get lightheaded and nauseous like you, and just feel really awful. It did pass, though, probably by the time I was around 32 weeks pregnant. Hope it goes away quickly for you, too!



answers from New York on

Hi B.,
Congrats on your second pregnancy, Ughhh I was so short of breath with my second too. I had him in August so talk about feeling even more suffocating. I also had tingly sensations on one side of my body, my doctor told me that the baby was laying on a nerve. I myself also have a two and a half year old and it didnt help chasing him around, so it is normal try not to panic and just take your time it will pass when the baby drops, mine did.
Good Luck with everything



answers from New York on


Has your physician told you why you have too much amniotic fluid? Are they keeping a close eye on you with Ultrasounds? The reason I ask is that I am an Ultrasound Tech.There are many reasons that there can be too much fluid. And sometimes our pregnant patients get the sick dizzy feeling during a scan and we tell them to roll onto their sides. Sometimes the baby can be sitting on a blood vessel and that causes them to feel sick,but once they roll over they feel better immediately. If this is happening while your standing or driving I would keep asking your doctor to check it out or seek another opinion. You know your body better than anyone else so don't let them dismiss your symptoms. I went into labor at 28 weeks and kept telling my doctor that something was wrong for the 2 weeks prior to going into labor.I always felt tight around my belly and felt like I couldn't breathe. Thank goodness everything turned out fine in the end. I'm not trying to scare you I just want you to know you are not alone and that your doctors need to follow you closely. Keep on them and make them listen to you. Make them do Ultrasounds to check the fluid and the baby and make them put you on a monitor to see if your having contractions during these episodes. If everything is fine after that then great.Then maybe it is just because your pregnant and theres too much amniotic fluid. Good Luck and God Bless!!



answers from Binghamton on

I had the same issue and an Alexander Technique instructor taught me how to breathe into the back of my lungs, where you have more room because the baby isn't back there:)

Try imagining you have gills of a fish on your back ribs, just above the kidneys and imagine expanding that area with each breath.

For me it went away when my baby dropped.

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