Pregnant women experience nasal stuffiness due to estrogen-induced hypersecretion of mucus. Epistaxis is also common. The safest treatment of these symptoms is a saline nasal spray. The following is a summary of respiratory changes:
- Respiratory rate does not change.
- Tidal volume increases 0.1-0.2 L.
- Expiratory reserve volume (ERV) decreases 15%.
- Residual volume decreases.
- Vital capacity does not change.
- Inspiratory capacity increases 5%.
- Functional reserve capacity decreases 18%.
- Minute volume increases 40%.