Finding a comfortable sleeping position may not be the only reason a mom-to-be
is struggling to get rest. More than a quarter of women become first-time
snorers while pregnant, according to the
SomnoSure Education Center, and it doesn’t end there. Snoring can quickly lead to obstructive
sleep apnea, a sleep disorder consisting of pauses in breathing.
The Saint Francis Healthcare Sleep Center provides tips and solutions for pregnant women experiencing this spontaneous
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea is mostly recognized through loud snoring—though it is
important to note that not all snorers have the disorder. Other signs
Choking and gasping while sleeping
Extreme daytime sleepiness
Frequent waking during the night
Mood and concentration changes
Excessive fluid in legs
Hypertension, preeclampsia, eclampsia and diabetes
Can Sleep Apnea Affect Your Unborn Baby?
Because of the weight gain, pregnant women are often at increased risk
of developing sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause unsafe drops in blood
oxygen level during the night, which could affect your baby. It has been
linked to premature delivery, low Apgar scores and low birth weight.
Solutions and Treatments
Talk to your
Although sleep problems are normal, you should see your doctor if you have
started recognizing sleep apnea symptoms, especially if they are becoming
worse or more frequent.
Engage in a sleep study.
Sleep studies are performed overnight in a sleep center that has comfortable,
home-like bedrooms. By using small sensors, a sleep technologist is able
to monitor blood oxygen levels, breathing efforts and airflow. A diagnosis
can then be made. Sleep studies are
not dangerous to unborn babies, and most insurances cover the cost.
Use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) therapy.
CPAP is a form of treatment that provides a gentle flow of air through
a mask over the nose, keeping airways open while you sleep. CPAP resolves
sleep apnea and improves sleep and oxygen levels.
To make an appointment at the
Saint Francis Healthcare Sleep Center, call 302.421.4500.