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Pregnancy and baby

Nosebleeds in pregnancy

Nosebleeds are quite common in pregnancy because of hormonal changes. They are usually short, but can be quite heavy. Nosebleeds can be frightening, but as long as you don't lose a lot of blood, there is nothing to worry about, and they can often be treated at home. The medical name for a nosebleed is epistaxis.

During a nosebleed, blood flows from one nostril, and sometimes from both. It can be heavy or light and last from a few seconds to more than 10 minutes. Nosebleeds can happen when you're asleep. You might feel liquid in the back of your throat before blood comes out of your nose, if you're lying down.

During pregnancy, you may also find that your nose gets more blocked up than usual.

How to stop a nosebleed

  • Sit down and firmly pinch the soft part of your nose, just above your nostrils, for 10 minutes.
  • Lean forward and breathe through your mouth. This will drain blood down your nose instead of down the back of your throat.
  • Stay upright, rather than lying down, as this reduces the blood pressure in the veins of your nose and will discourage further bleeding.
  • Maintain the pressure on your nose for up to 20 minutes (time this on a clock) so that the blood clots.
  • Place a covered ice pack on the bridge of your nose.
  • Avoid blowing your nose, bending down and strenuous activity for at least 12 hours after a nosebleed.

If the bleeding doesn't stop, seek medical advice. 

You can also talk to your midwife or GP if you're worried about your nosebleeds.

Learn more about nosebleeds, including tips for preventing nosebleeds, and read about other common pregnancy problems.

Page last reviewed: 16/02/2015

Next review due: 31/12/2017


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