On TikTok, women share their pregnancy noses. But what causes it?


On TikTok, parents share an unanticipated physical change after conceiving: the pregnancy nose.

The pregnancy nose videos are simple: they juxtapose the image of a person before they got pregnant with images of their swollen noses afterwards. On TikTok, the #PregnancyNose hashtag has more than 16 million views.

The side effect isn’t the first startling physiological change during pregnancy that TikTokers have shared on the platform. A user, colloquially called “the girl on the listShe even keeps an up-to-date tab on the lesser-known side effects, symptoms, and physical changes that can occur during pregnancy. The pregnancy nose is the latest thing to catch the platform’s attention.

However, Dr. Shannon M. Clark, a professor of maternal-fetal medicine at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, who also has a TikTok account with about half a million followers, said the symptom is not a small one. common. She herself experienced pregnancy nose.

“There are typical physiological changes of pregnancy that occur in everyone, the first being basal dilation, in which the blood vessels in the body dilate,” Clark said. “I had it when I was pregnant with my twins. That’s why my nose was not only swollen but redder.”

In videos posted to TikTok, the women expressed shock at the degree to which their noses were swelling.

One user, while showing a picture of herself before she got pregnant, said she “never had a big nose” before her pregnancy. As she showed the “after” photo of her, she asked, “Who is that?”

another user fixed“Speaking of the pregnancy nose… I became a whole new person.”

Clark explained that the swelling is due to an increase in hormones during pregnancy, which causes basal dilation. She said additional reasons for the swelling are due to an increase in blood flow to aid the growth of the pregnancy. Parts of the body that have a mucous membrane, such as the nose, also experience a noticeable increase in blood flow.

He also cautioned that while a pregnancy nose is a common and harmless change, if a pregnant person is more than 20 weeks old and notices that their face and hands are beginning to swell, along with symptoms such as blurred vision and headaches, they should notify their your medical provider. .

“All of those are signs of preeclampsia,” he said. “Preeclampsia in pregnancy is a complicated condition and must be properly monitored and diagnosed.”

Clark also cautioned that while it’s not always a negative to share conditions like a runny nose during pregnancy on social media, she advised those seeking pregnancy advice to take what they see on social media with a grain of salt.

She mentioned that she sees misinformation about pregnancy on platforms like TikTok, which can be scary for first-time expectants.

“Social media can be very helpful when taken with a grain of salt,” he said.

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