Nosebleeds During Pregnancy: Can it Harm My Baby and How to Stop it?


Nosebleeds are one of the least known discomforts of pregnancy, and as in most cases, the hormones are responsible for their occurrence. Pregnancy can cause the blood vessels in the nose to expand and, as there is an increase in blood flow, there is more pressure on the delicate vessels of the nose, which makes them more easily injured.

Fortunately although unpleasant the fact that the nose bleeds a little from time to time, usually poses no risk. Some doctors say that even if it happens to you several times during pregnancy, there is no cause for concern.

Do Nosebleeds During Pregnancy Affect The Baby?

nosebleeds during pregnancy

Nose bleeding– How does it occur?

  • Due to the high levels of estrogen and increased blood flow to mucous, membranes of the nose makes them soften and swell, dry or also bleed easily, especially in the winter months. This is why bleeding or loss of blood through the nose are common during pregnancy. It happens to 20% of pregnant women, compared to 6% of those who are not.
  • In some instances, your nose will bleed when you have a cold or if you have sinusitis or an allergy. It can also occur when the inner membranes of your nose become dry, such as when it is cold or in places with air conditioning.
  • The congestion usually appears towards the second month of pregnancy and may last until the moment of delivery. They can also occur after blowing your nose with force. To hold a nosebleed it is best to sit or stand leaning slightly forward.
  • Nasal congestion, often accompanied by nosebleeds, is a common ailment during pregnancy. It usually gives a feeling of clogging and difficulty breathing through the nose, without having a cold.

How can I stop a nosebleed during pregnancy?

 If your nose begins to bleed during pregnancy, do the following:

  • Sit down and slightly lean your body forward, but keep your head up, so that it is higher than your heart.
  • With the thumb and the index finger, puncture all the soft inferior part of the nose, closing both nostrils.
  • Breathe through the mouth and compress the nose, keeping the nostrils closed for 10 to 15 minutes. Do not release your nose ahead of time to see if the bleeding has stopped, as this could interfere with the clotting process.
  • Apply ice to reduce bleeding. Hold a cold bag on your nose and cheeks with your hand that is not squeezing your nostrils.
  • Do not lie down or bend your head back: you could swallow blood, which can cause nausea or even vomit, or cause you to accidentally breathe in some blood.
  • If the bleeding does not stop after 15 minutes of pressure and ice, continue another 10 to 15 minutes.

Can I do something to prevent nosebleeds during pregnancy?

  • Drink more fluid to keep the entire mucosa well hydrated.
  • Blow your nose gently. Blowing loud can cause nosebleeds.
  • Try to keep your mouth open when sneezing. This distributes the sneeze pressure and does not concentrate it all in your nose.
  • Use a humidifier in your home, especially in winter or dry climates. Avoid too much heating in your room and stay away from irritants such as smoke.
  • Use a lubricant to relieve nasal dryness. Some experts recommend Vaseline. Others suggest a special water-based nasal lubricant, which can be purchased without a prescription in pharmacies. Aerosols (sprays) or nasal drops with saline also help.
  • If your doctor recommends a nasal decongestant with medication, just use it as directed (do not overuse it). They can dry the nose and irritate it even more.

Can nosebleed during pregnancy harm my baby?

  • It is extremely rare that nosebleeds affect the way you give birth. However, if you have very serious nosebleeds that are ongoing in your last trimester, your obstetrician may advise you to have your baby by cesarean section.
  • There is a small possibility that labor may trigger a severe nosebleed that is difficult to manage. Your medical team will help you weigh the risks and benefits.
  • Your nose contains many small blood vessels. When there is an increase in blood circulation during pregnancy, these blood vessels are more prone to bursting causing a nosebleed. When you blow your nose or clean it for any reason, be sure to do it carefully.
  • If the bleeding is very heavy, causes dizziness or fainting and/or occurs too frequently, you should consult with the specialist to rule out other problems.
  • But most pregnant women who experience nosebleeds should not worry about adverse side effects. Usually, the amount of blood loss is too small to worry about.

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