Some women have nosebleeds during pregnancy, even though they never or rarely did before. With the extra blood flowing throughout your body, the tiny blood vessels lining the nasal passages are more fragile and likely to rupture.

■ Prevention and self-care for nosebleeds To stop a nosebleed:

• Sit up and keep your head elevated. Pinch the soft parts of your nose together between your thumb and index finger.

• Press firmly but gently, compressing the pinched parts of the nose toward the face.

• Hold this position for five minutes.

• Lean forward to avoid swallowing the blood, and breathe through your mouth. Apply ice — crushed in a plastic bag or washcloth — across the bridge of the nose.

To prevent a nosebleed:

• Be gentle when blowing your nose, and don't try packing your nose with gauze.

• Dry air may make you more susceptible to nosebleeds. Use a humidifier during the winter months.

■ When to seek medical help for nosebleeds

Call your health care provider if the nosebleed persists, if you have high blood pressure or if it occurs after a head injury.

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