Skip to main content

Symptom Checker

Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.

Shortness of Breath In Pregnancy

Getting started

Many, many women who are pregnant find themselves short of breath at some point. One reason is that the uterus is expanding and pushing up into the abdomen. This squeezes the lungs a bit, reducing the space they have for oxygen exchange.

An even bigger cause for shortness of breath is progesterone, a hormone that increases during pregnancy. High progesterone levels cause pregnant women to breathe faster. The rise in progesterone begins early in pregnancy, and the shortness of breath it causes can come as a surprise.

While shortness of breath can be worrisome, most of the time it is harmless and due to the normal changes of pregnancy. That said, it's still a good idea to consider if there might be some other reason for it.

This guide will help you assess whether your shortness of breath is normal pregnancy-related shortness of breath or something else.

Let's get started.

Disclaimer: This content should not be considered complete and should not be used in place of a call or visit to a health professional. Use of this content is subject to specific Terms of Use & Medical Disclaimers.