An expanding belly, swollen feet, lustrous locks—there are plenty of body changes you know to expect when you’re expecting. But there’s one potential side effect of pregnancy that catches many women off guard: pregnancy nose.
“Pregnancy nose” is a non-medical term used to describe the swollen nose some women report experiencing as their pregnancy progresses. And lately, it’s become a bit of a buzzword on social media—pregnant women have been taking to TikTok and other social platforms to share photos of their noses before and during pregnancy.
“The pregnancy nose is so real. I’ve basically only gained weight in my belly and my nose...This goes back to normal, right?” laments one Instagram user. “My schnoz has swelled significantly,"asks another. "Any other mamas out there experience this wacky pregnancy symptom?” Even celebrities like Chrissy Teigen have reported experiencing this strange and typically unwanted pregnancy phenomenon.
damn my pregnancy nose is huge. my nose has its own bmi. how you gonna gain weight in your nose. this is fascinating— chrissy teigen (@chrissyteigen) May 1, 2018
Experts say that although it is far less common than other side effects of pregnancy, a swelling nose can be a harmless byproduct of growing a baby. The culprit? All those hormonal changes that take your body by storm from the moment you conceive. Increases in hormones like estrogen cause your blood vessels to dilate so blood flow can increase to support your growing fetus and uterus. But in most cases, the increase in blood flow isn’t limited to just these areas of the body. Parts of the body that have a mucus membrane, like the nose, also experience a sizable increase in blood flow, which may lead to swelling. Hence, pregnancy nose.
The good news is that pregnancy nose tends to be temporary—your nose will most likely return to its pre-pregnancy state once you’ve delivered your baby and your hormone levels have leveled out, usually around six weeks postpartum.
However, as with any new pregnancy symptom, it’s a good idea to mention your swelling nose to your healthcare provider. While it’s likely not cause for concern, he or she may want to rule out the possibility of preeclampsia, a serious pregnancy complication that is characterized by high blood pressure, which can lead to swelling in various parts of the body.
This article is for informational purposes only. It is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and we recommend that you always consult with your healthcare provider. To the extent that this article features the advice of physicians or medical practitioners, the views expressed are the views of the cited expert and do not necessarily represent the views of Perelel.