Other breathing problems
It might be tempting to dismiss any 3rd-trimester breathlessness as normal, but if you experience shortness of breath that's sudden, severe, or associated with chest pain or a faster pulse, get medical help immediately. This could mean that a blood clot has settled in your lungs; it's a rare but dangerous occurrence among pregnant women, especially those with blood clots in their legs.
Be aware, too, that breathing problems can be caused by pneumonia. Usually accompanied by fever, chest pain, and cough, pneumonia is the third-leading cause of death among pregnant women. Pneumonia can be viral or bacterial; with either one, potential complications can include respiratory failure, premature delivery, or infections that can harm your unborn baby.
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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