Did you know that more than half of pregnant women claim to experience difficulty sleeping, especially during the later stages? In some cases, obstructive sleep apnea—a condition that disrupts your breathing during rest—can begin to come about more frequently during this time. Is it possible for this situation to affect your baby? Read on to learn about the risks of this disorder during pregnancy and how you can get it treated.
The Risks of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
This disorder involves pauses or disruptions in your breathing during rest. Whether the situation is due to obstructed airways or a neurological condition, you can end up having lower oxygen levels in your blood due to the little amount of air that you inhale while sleeping. Other than fatigue, this can raise your chances of bodily complications like hypertension (high blood pressure) and heart issues. If you’re pregnant and struggling with sleep apnea, your condition can end up impacting your developing baby by increasing the risk of forming problems like preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. To avoid this altogether, expectant mothers should consider getting treatment for this disorder.
Indications & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea
Those who are experiencing sleep apnea typically share similar symptoms, regardless of if they’re pregnant or not. The most common indications of this condition involve:
- Excessive daytime sleepiness or yawning
- Loud and disruptive snoring
- Pauses in breathing or shortness of breath while resting
- Choking, gasping, or snorting when waking up
- Frequent nighttime urination (nocturia)
Sleep apnea tends to be underdiagnosed, so you’ll want to visit a sleep specialist for a thorough evaluation, especially if you’re expecting a child.
How Can You Treat Sleep Apnea?
Undergoing treatment for this disorder is crucial for pregnant patients, as there can be significant negative impacts on both the mother and baby. Some of the consequences may include the development of gestational hypertension and diabetes, or lead to fetal growth restriction, prolonged labor, and even unplanned caesarian sections.
Sleep apnea treatment can typically start with changes in your lifestyle, such as sleeping on your side or using adhesive breathing strips to help keep your nostrils open. For more persistent or serious conditions, your doctor might recommend using a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine to assist in opening up your airways for proper breathing.
If you’re pregnant and suspect that you might be struggling with the above symptoms, be sure to contact your doctor for treatment. By addressing sleep apnea, you can be sure to help promote both your and your baby’s health by resting easier throughout the night!
About the Author
With over three decades of experience, Dr. Kent Smith is the top-rated dentist in sleep dentistry. He’s a proud member of various organizations, such as the American Board of Dental Sleep Medicine, is the President of the American Sleep Breathing Academy, and has been providing countless courses on how to approach related disorders in the dental field. If you’d like to know more about how sleep apnea can affect your baby, visit his website or call 972-255-3712.