Check up: Pregnant woman annoyed with big nose

February 18, 2019

Dear Readers,

Sammy is pregnant for the first time and is frustrated with the many changes she has noticed on her body.

She is particularly disgusted by the widening and thickening of her nose. She says she can barely recognise herself with the big, broad nose! She also complains about the darkening of her neck and stomach, stretch marks, ‘old people’ back pain, running to the bathroom frequently to pass urine, ‘feeling bad’, spitting and looking fat.

Well, Sammy sure makes this all sound like a real nightmare. But the truth is that, except for the stretch marks and maybe a soft abdominal wall for some ladies, most things will return to normal within a few months after she gives birth.

Some women are totally unprepared for the body changes which are associated with pregnancy. Not everyone has the same experience. Some women also cannot tolerate many smells and even how food tastes, while other women are astonishingly healthy.

Most pregnant women expect that their tummy will enlarge, their breasts might swell, and even that their feet might swell a bit. Even some stretch marks might be bemoaned, but are expected.

In pregnancy, the feet can get larger, along with the eyelids, cheeks and the nose. The entire body can become temporarily bigger during pregnancy. This occurs because of the hormonal changes which take place in the female body during pregnancy. Progestogen and oestrogen levels increase, which can result in thick, shiny beautiful hair along with the upsetting changes.

But your nose is in a very obvious position – in the middle of your face. It is a very prominent feature and, therefore, changes there will be more noticeable. What happens with the female ‘pregnant’ nose (the ones which seem to grow) is the following:

• Increase in hormonal oestrogen results in increased blood flow to all mucous membranes, including the mucous membranes lining inside the nose.

• This increased flow of blood to the nose expands the membranes in the nose, which results in the expansion of muscles in the nose.

• This expansion of the nose muscles changes the shape of the nose and makes it appear wider and bigger.

• Changing hormonal levels can also influence skin pigmentation, and so a darker colour over the nasal area.

The good news is that these changes are definitely temporary. Once your baby is born and the body hormones fall back to levels they were at before pregnancy, almost all the changes revert to normal. Most women will see their nose revert to the pre-pregnancy size within one to two months after having their baby. My advice would be for you to sit back and enjoy your pregnancy. Relax, eat right, exercise. After the baby is born, you won’t have time to worry about your nose or any other of these mostly temporary concerns.


Some changes which women can experience during pregnancy are:

• From a half a shoe size to a full shoe size increase. Well, sometimes the foot size doesn’t fully return to the original size. Sometimes added baby weight flattens the foot arches, and this can be a permanent change.

• Skin tags where skin rubs together or against clothing. These also disappear after the baby’s birth.

• Unusual food cravings. Not only ketchup or ice cream, but dirt and things not considered to be a food type. This might occur due to lack of some minerals, so vitamins and iron should be taken daily in pregnancy.

• Darkening of the skin, also called chloasma, or the mask of pregnancy. Brown spots which are darker than the rest of the skin can appear in pregnancy on the face, neck and abdomen. Mostly, the spots disappear after pregnancy, but very occasionally they remain.

• Dark vertical line extending from the navel to the pubic region, which is due to the hormonal changes.

• Forgetfulness, which may be tied to the difficulty with sleeping.

• Acne. Again, secondary to hormonal changes.

• Visual changes. Sometimes vision seems a bit blurred, as the cornea in the eye may become thickened temporarily.

Many changes can occur to the female body during pregnancy, but if you’re not sure what’s happening, please point out the problem to your doctor at your antenatal visit.

Relax, Sammy! Pregnancy lasts only nine months, and by the time you noticed these different and difficult symptoms, you’re nearly there!

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