Why am I getting nosebleeds often?

Q: I've been getting nosebleeds now that I'm pregnant. What can I do?

A: Don't worry if you spot some blood on a tissue after blowing your nose now. Nosebleeds during pregnancy are common. Because your body is producing more blood these days, the teeny blood vessels in your nose can swell up, dry out, and rupture, causing your nose to bleed. There isn't a whole lot you can do to prevent these pregnancy nosebleeds, but dry air can make you more susceptible. To avoid this, use a humidifier in your bedroom during the winter months (indoor heating can dry out your nasal passages and make the problem worse). It also helps to dab a little moisturizing petroleum jelly around your nostrils before going to bed. And always be extra gentle when blowing your nose -- now's the time to splurge on the super-soft tissues.

When a nosebleed strikes, apply pressure to your nostrils and gently lean your head back for a few minutes. If the blood flow is heavier, try this first-aid trick: Place a clean tampon (you have no other need for them these days!) just inside the opening of your nose. It may look silly, but a tampon is much more absorbent than a wadded-up tissue. Pregnancy-related nosebleeds usually subside quickly, but if you can't stop the bleeding, call your doctor.

Copyright 2009

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