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Susan Warhus, MD

Your question:
My daughter is pregnant. Her lips (mouth) have turned blue. She says this happens during pregnancy sometimes. To me it is a sign of lack of oxygen. What are your comments? She feels "bad" and tired a lot also.

The expert answers:
Pregnancy is certainly responsible for many changes in the body, including discoloration of the skin and circulation changes. Your daughter's blue lips may be due to pregnancy hormonal changes.

In fact, some pregnant women experience bluish tinted nail beds and blotchy, blue hands and feet. However to be on the safe side, I recommend that she be thoroughly evaluated by her physician.

A possible reason that your daughter has a bluish tint to her lips could be due to iron deficiency anemia. This is fairly common in pregnancy and fortunately easily treated with diet, vitamins and iron supplements.

However, blue lips could also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition. One possible condition involves problems with lungs and breathing, such as asthma, complications from smoking or pneumonia.

Another medical condition could involve disorders of the heart or circulatory system. If your daughter is otherwise young and healthy, these conditions are not likely.

During the course of routine prenatal care, the doctor typically orders blood tests at the beginning of pregnancy and again around 28 weeks. The blood is checked for anemia, especially blood low in iron or other nutrients. Have your daughter check with her doctor's office to see if these tests have been done and find out the results.

I urge you to express your concerns with your daughter and have her pass along these concerns to her physician. He/she will evaluate your daughter's medical history and physical condition and see what further studies need to be

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