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Doctor insights on: Is It Bad To Hold Your Breath When Pregnant

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Dr. Heidi Fowler
4 Doctors shared insights

Pregnancy (Definition)

When your due date arrives, you will be more than ready to have your baby! Most women deliver the baby somewhere between 37 and 42 weeks. According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, only 5% of babies arrive on the exact due date. Approximately 7% of babies are not delivered by 42 weeks, and when that happens, it is referred to ...Read more


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Pregnant with a really bad stuffy nose. Very tired and just want to sleep. I read an article saying if you hold your breath for 30 sec your nose should clear up some. Is this bad for the baby?

Pregnant with a really bad stuffy nose. Very tired and just want to sleep. I read an article saying if you hold your breath for 30 sec your nose should clear up some. Is this bad for the baby?

Myth/no: This practice has no basis in reality, but if you or they believe in it anything can have a placebo effect. Holding your breath for 30 seconds will have no effect on baby. ...Read more

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Is holding your breath while pregnant bad for the baby? I've been straining to poop because I'm constipated, and noticed I hold my breath. Is this bad

Is holding your breath while pregnant bad for the baby? I've been straining to poop because I'm constipated, and noticed I hold my breath. Is this bad

Unlikely: If you hold your breath too long, you'll pass out. Once unconscious, your body automatically starts breathing again. (that's why we pediatricians are never excited by breath holding spells in toddlers.) if you're not passing out while having a bowel movement, it's unlikely that your baby is suffering any ill effects. Talk to your OB about the constipation-no need to suffer. ...Read more

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S holding your breath while pregnant bad for the baby?

S holding your breath while pregnant bad for the baby?

It depends: Holding your breath can increase intra-abdominal pressure which may not be good for placental blood flow. I want to know why you would be holding your breath. ...Read more

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During pregnancy can I hold my breath long enough to cause damage to my baby?

During pregnancy can I hold my breath long enough to cause damage to my baby?

No: No; even if you could hold you breath long enough to pass out, you would start breathing again on your own. As for the baby, it has lots of ways to protect itself from running out of oxygen and it would be fine. Nonetheless, I don't recommend that you try! ...Read more

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I am a synchronized swimmer and we hold our breath at times (max 10-15 sec) while swimming a routine. Can I continue to do so while pregnant?

I am a synchronized swimmer and we hold our breath at times (max 10-15 sec) while swimming a routine. Can I continue to do so while pregnant?

Yes: Your blood oxygen level does not drop significantly during these intervals to affect what baby is receiving. If you didn't breathe for 3-5 min it would start being significant. ...Read more

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Is it ok to hold your breath to avoid toxic fumes during pregnancy?

Is it ok to hold your breath to avoid toxic fumes during pregnancy?

Toxic fumes: It is not ok to hold your breath without supervision by a qualified professional. I.E a doctor. Toxic fumes should be avoided at all times and particularly during pregnancy. ...Read more

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Pregnant 6 mnths. Had a bad nightmare and woke up in sweats and out of breath for about 10 mins. Can this affect my baby?

Pregnant 6 mnths. Had a bad nightmare and woke up in sweats and out of breath for about 10 mins. Can this affect my baby?

No: A nightmare even with shortness of breath and sweating will not cause problems for the baby. Your concern suggests what a good mom you are going to be. This is a lucky baby! :) ...Read more

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Can I hold my breath during pregnancy? Can't stand a lot of smells so I hold my breath while cleaning or around paint. Have I caused damage to baby

Can I hold my breath during pregnancy? Can't stand a lot of smells so I hold my breath while cleaning or around paint. Have I caused damage to baby

Yes: Even if you try, you can't hold your breath forever. Baby will be fine. Avoid the paint or strong odors. Kiss: keep it simple smart. ...Read more

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I'm pregnant and I lose my breath feeling like I wanna faint is it bad? I'm 6 weeks pregnant

I'm pregnant and I lose my breath feeling like I wanna faint is it bad? I'm 6 weeks pregnant

OBs want to know NOW: I told my OB staff to notify me immediately if someone was faint or short of breath at any point in pregnancy. Then we would make a plan for the best way to get the patient seen for evaluation and, if needed, treatment. Such spells might be isolated or return. They might be due to something simple or complex. They might be related to pregnancy or not. It's difficult to know without exam. ...Read more

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I'm pregnant and I lose my breath feeling like I wanna faint is it bad? I'm 6 weeks pregnant 

I'm pregnant and I lose my breath feeling like I wanna faint is it bad? I'm 6 weeks pregnant 

Might be problem: Most obs want to know if someone is faint or short of breath at any point in pregnancy. They will listen to symptoms then make a plan for the best way to get the patient seen for evaluation and, if needed, treatment. Such spells might be return later so it is important to evaluate as soon after symptoms occur as possible. It's difficult to know diagnosis or effect on pregnancy without exam. ...Read more

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Does Holding your breath (swimming) during pregnancy harm the baby? Does it stop oxygen supply to the baby? Is it ok to hold ur breath?

Does Holding your breath (swimming) during pregnancy harm the baby? Does it stop oxygen supply to the baby? Is it ok to hold ur breath?

No: You and your baby have reserves that allow for holding your breath for the normal times during swimming or other activities. If you are not harmed the. Your baby is safe. ...Read more

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5 months pregnant and have very servere rib pain on my left I can hardly breath or cough without the pain stabbing like a knife have a bad cough also?

5 months pregnant and have very servere rib pain on my left I can hardly breath or cough without the pain stabbing like a knife have a bad cough also?

Be examined: There are several reasons for the pain ranging from a pulled rib, muscle strain, or some problem with you uterus and pregnancy. It is smart to go to your doctor and have an exam and ultrasound to make sure the uterus and baby are fine and the physician can examine the area and see if it is just a strain muscle or bruised rib ...Read more

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Hey I'm 6 weeks pregnant and for the last two days I have been having really bad shortness of breath. Should I be worried?

Hey I'm 6 weeks pregnant and for the last two days I have been having really bad shortness of breath. Should I be worried?

See your doctor: If you have an obstetrician, see her/him. If you don't have one, call your primary care doctor who may be able to facilitate a visit to one very soon. ...Read more

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Hi im 11 weeks pregnant and have a bad cold been vomiting can't keep nothing down wile vomiting I feel like I cant breath will my baby be ok?

Hi im 11 weeks pregnant and have a bad cold been vomiting can't keep nothing down wile vomiting I feel like I cant breath will my baby be ok?

Your Obstetrician ca: During pregnancy your Obstetrics doctor (Ob/Gyn) is supposed to monitor you and guide you through Pregnancy. If you do not have one, you need to find one urgently. Otherwise you should go to the Emergency room and get checked by a ER physician. They will give you IV fluids and antinausea treatment to stop your vomiting. You can get dehydrated and that can be harmful to the baby. So don't wait arn ...Read more