TikTok has led to so many amazing, and some downright weird, beauty trends; including the “I’m Cold” makeup look, heart-shaped beauty marks, the mass spread of “slugging”, and more. The makeup-crazed app has also lead us down the research-filled rabbit hole when it comes to makeup history, formulation breakdowns, and explaining various beauty phenomena.
The latest buzzword to hit the TikTok scene, “pregnancy nose” or more specifically “pregnancy nose swelling” has amassed 241.8 million views.
Now, we all know that with pregnancy comes a variety of emotional and physical shifts; glowing skin, mood swings, hair growth, and so on. But ‘pregnancy nose’ is catching many expecting parents by surprise.
@babycenter Is “pregnancy nose” a real thing? Yes and you can thank your pregnancy hormones for this side effect. Here’s why it happens. #pregnancyjourney #pregnancysideeffect #swollennose #pregnantnose #pregnantnoseisreal #bignose ♬ original sound - babycenter
What is Pregnancy Nose?
While pregnant individuals are often told to expect a glow or feet swelling, many don’t hear about nose swelling till they experience it themselves. “Pregnancy nose” refers to the appearance of a widened or swollen-looking nose, often towards the last few months of pregnancy.
Dr. Nicole Sparks MD, a lifestyle content creator and a board-certified OBGYN, breaks down the cause behind “pregnancy nose”.
As Dr. Sparks explained in her video, pregnancy causes a huge increase in hormones which results in dilation of blood vessels, which results to increased blood flow to certain areas of the body, especially areas with mucus membrane like the nose.
In addition to the appearance of a enlarged nose, some women also experience extra congestion as a result of “pregnancy nose”.
Treatment for Pregnancy Nose
As previously mentioned, the nose swelling caused by pregnancy may lead to some congestion, or pregnancy rhinitis. One way to help with any discomfort and is to keep your nasal passages hydrated with nose drops or a spray. Other methods recommended by UT Southwestern Medical Center include getting regular exercise, elevating your mattress so your body is resting at a 45-degree angle, using a humidifier, or using a sinus regulation system, like a neti pot, to clear the sinuses.
Unlike more regular instances of facial swelling, such as from consuming salty foods, you can’t, and more importantly you shouldn’t, try using methods like a facial roller to reduce the swelling.
In most cases, ‘pregnancy nose’, like many other parts of the body post birth, will go back to pre-pregnancy appearance in about six weeks. For the time being, focus on getting through the pregnancy in a safe, healthy, and peaceful manner and treat yourself to other beauty treatments, like a mani-pedi, till the baby arrives.
Pregnancy and Beauty
As anyone whose gone through the process can testify, pregnancy is a beautiful and often complicated period of time. Your body, hair, and face can go through quite a few changes during the 9-month period, like:
- Brown patches. This skin discoloration is called melasma which is a hormone-induced condition of hyperpigmentation most often seen on the forehead, cheeks, or skin.
- Skin redness. Some women can experience elevated blood pressure during their pregnancy*, which may lead to a flush to the skin.
- Pregnancy “glow”. With heightened blood flow and increased oil production due to hormones, many pregnant women appear to have a glow to the skin, especially after the first trimester. Who needs a highlighter when you have the glow of motherhood about you?
- Freckles and moles. Similar to melasma, increased levels of the hormones progesterone and estrogen can cause melanin cells in your skin to build more pigment. Which in turn, can lead to more freckle and moles on your face appearing more evidently.
- Thicker hair. During your pregnancy, your hair may appear thicker and shinier due to the increased level of estrogen, which leads to less hair falling out than it usually will. The wives’ tale that those who experience elevated heartburn during their pregnancy are more likely to have a newborn with a full head of hair. While some studies do show that there is a link between heartburn and newborn hair, it is, as most things with pregnancy, a result of increased hormones. With the progression of knowledge available about pregnancy as we have today, there is no need to rely on wives’ tales for major advice about pregnancy.
*Most shifts during pregnancy as mentioned in this article are normal. However, keep in mind that you need to be regularly monitored by medical professionals throughout the course of your pregnancy.