Pregnancy is a beautiful, magical process that brings about its own share of weird symptoms. Take a look at forums online, ask your mom and your friends, and check with doctors—sometimes some symptoms can be really weird and funny. Just like every pregnancy is vastly different, every woman’s body goes through and takes on this drastic change differently. No two cases are the same, and the symptoms that come along exhibit this fact. Feet get bigger, cheeks get rounder, breasts get fuller, hair grows in weird places… the list of seemingly out of place growths goes on and on!

Another odd growth is the nose getting bigger during pregnancy. An old wives’ tale says that when the nose grows, you are having a baby boy. Others say that the bigger the nose gets, the healthier the baby will be, or that you will have a baby girl. Many other stories online correlating the size of a woman’s nose to her pregnancy and her baby seems to pop up with no factual basis and scientific truths behind them. But just what is the science behind these stories?

The facts

Scientists and obstetricians state that during pregnancy, the female body releases a high amount of estrogen and progesterone. These are hormones that prepare a woman’s body for the baby. As the sudden influx of hormones takes place, you’ll start to notice weird things happening to your body. A popular example of this is the swelling and growing of the feet. Some women, during pregnancy, swear that their feet grew a size larger and shrank down to their normal size months after they gave birth. Another occurrence is fine hair growing on your baby bump and a slight change in hair color. Other women also get melasma, or medium to dark splotches on the face. Some get a couple of new moles their face and body, even!

The face and nose are no exceptions to growth. Swelling in the nose and other softer parts of the face take place due to blood vessels expanding in the first trimester, making room for blood to flow to cater to Baby’s growing needs. As blood flows stronger, and the nose grows bigger, the mucous membrane of the nose swells up and grows as well. And since the nose is made up of softer bones, or cartilage, its shape is easily influenced by the growing and shifting of the muscles underneath.

All these growths are totally normal and will subside after an amount of time once the baby is born. It is good to remember that, despite these symptoms feeling out of place, your body is getting ready to bring in new life! Changes are healthy, and these symptoms do not occur at the same time to all women—to others, some symptoms don’t show up at all.

Will my bigger nose go back to normal?

Some women report their bigger noses going back to their normal size and shape in about four to six months after their baby is born. In some cases, the time spent for the nose “shrinking” takes a shorter amount of time. The nose WILL go back to its normal shape and size, so there is no reason to worry about it!

Can i prevent my nose from getting bigger?

Unfortunately, like the swelling of all the other body parts, nasal and facial swelling is a part of the growing pains of pregnancy. But don’t fret! Some women experience it differently—some experience a slight swell that is barely noticeable, while others feel it grow one to two sizes bigger and wider.

One thing that can aid the management of the nose getting bigger during pregnancy is keeping an eye on your water retention. Because the body is working overtime to keep two lives healthy, it keeps in a lot of water, causing some features to get more bloated. What you can do to avoid water retention in the face is to incorporate a higher intake of water, which helps flush out dirt in the body, which then reduces swelling.

You could also keep an eye on your blood pressure. Higher blood pressure can cause swelling and bloating, so be careful about the food you eat and the physical activities you take on during this period. Make sure to maintain healthy blood pressure and be ready for fluctuations and flare-ups that may happen. Navigating the body during pregnancy is a tricky thing, and it’s best to be as careful as possible.

Despite all the odd growths and the insane amount of hormones your body has produced, your body will go back to how it was before you got pregnant, given an amount of time and care. The nose will shrink, the puffy cheeks will go back to normal, and that ache in your joints will fade, so rejoice! Pregnancy isn’t permanent, and neither are its symptoms, so don’t worry. Of course, always trust your gut, so consult your doctor in case something doesn’t feel or look as well as it should be after the pregnancy. It’s important to care for yourself at this stage too—pregnancy is a wild rollercoaster ride of change and emotions, so make sure to set aside some time to get yourself checked thoroughly once you can.

Pregnancy causes a woman to change wholly, and having a bigger nose is just one of its physical aftermaths. No matter what symptoms you experience, and however big your nose and feet get, it is important to remember that you’ll be having a baby, and that is a feat in itself! A larger nose and achy ankles will subside in a few months’ time, but this milestone will make an impact on you forever. Many women experience it differently, but the common factor about pregnancy is that it is a major life event in all aspects and that it is unique and special to any and everyone involved.

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