Women are going viral on TikTok for “pregnancy nose”—here’s what you need to know about this common, harmless phenomenon
In the videos, women will share photos of their faces, particularly their noses, before getting pregnant. Then, with a sudden, scary shift in the music, they show themselves in late pregnancy or just after giving birth. All of the women have “pregnancy nose,” which has caused their noses to get noticeably bigger during their pregnancies.
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So what the heck is going on? What is pregnancy nose, and is it yet another thing that pregnant women need to stress about?
According to experts, the truth is that pregnancy does, in fact, cause some women’s noses to grow.
“The underlying reason is because of the hormones that are increased in pregnancy and those hormones cause dilation in vessels, which can result in more blood flow going to certain areas — and that’s because we need it for the uterus,” Dr. Christine Greves, an OB-GYN in Orlando, Florida, told Today.com. “It’s not necessarily selective. So, some areas of our body that have mucous membranes do experience increased flow and your nose is one of them.”
The bottom line is that pregnancy nose is temporary and, for most people, totally harmless. For some women, it might come with side effects that can include swelling, congestion, nosebleeds, and discomfort. But Dr. Greves said it’s all temporary and will go away soon after giving birth.
“It goes back to your normal within six weeks (of giving birth),” she said. “I tell people to give yourself grace and expect it to be back to normal. But the timing of it just depends.”
One important caveat is that if you experience quick swelling or bloating during pregnancy, you should check in with your doctor because this can be a sign of preeclampsia.
“Rapid or significant swelling that may occur in the face, hands, and feet may be related to preeclampsia,” said Dr. Eran Bornstein, the vice chair of OB-GYN at Lenox Hill Hospital. “Patients that have significant swelling and experience symptoms, such as headache, blurry vision, abdominal pain or nausea/vomiting should contact their provider immediately to be evaluated for preeclampsia.”
As with most changes that occur during pregnancy, pregnancy nose is (mostly) nothing to worry about. Check with your doctor if you’re especially concerned, but for most women, it’s just one more item to add to the list of bodily changes to look forward to.