More than 75% of all mothers-to-be find that their sleep is interrupted more often than usual. This can be exhausting, of course, but it’s also completely normal and can be considered part of the pregnancy experience. However, if said interruptions are being caused by obstructive sleep apnea, it isn’t normal at all; on the contrary, it can be extremely dangerous for both the expectant mother and the unborn baby. Do you have reason to think that you might have sleep apnea during pregnancy? Read on to learn more about the risks as well as strategies for treating the problem so that you can get the rest you need for a healthy delivery.
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Linked to Pregnancy?
Obstructive sleep apnea in Denver is a condition where the airway is frequently blocked during sleep, leading to pauses in your breathing that can last anywhere from a few seconds to over a minute. This disorder tends to be more common in people who have gained an excessive amount of weight – and this is especially true for pregnant women. If you were at normal weight before pregnancy, then gaining more than 35 pounds significantly increases your risk of a sleep disorder. This is because it takes more effort to breathe, which can cause the lining of the airway to well up and restrict the flow of air.
If this issue goes unaddressed, the low blood-oxygen levels that you experience every night will increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and even heart failure. Your baby could be in danger as well; studies show that sleep apnea makes cesarean delivery three times more likely, and the newborns have a higher chance of ending up in the neonatal intensive care unit.
What are the Warning Signs of Sleep Apnea?
Symptoms that potentially point towards sleep apnea during pregnancy might include:
- Loud snoring and sudden gasps for air
- Falling asleep while reading, watching TV, or even sitting in traffic
- Becoming irritable, impatient, or forgetful on a frequent basis
- Waking up with a headache every night
How Can Sleep Apnea Be Treated?
In many cases, you can treat sleep apnea by losing weight. Talk to your doctor about strategies for managing your weight during pregnancy. You should also ask them about other forms of sleep apnea treatment. CPAP therapy is the most well-known option, but oral appliances are a good alternative if a noisy CPAP machine makes it hard for you to rest.
Sleep apnea can be exhausting and frightening, but it’s completely possible to overcome it. Keep your baby safe and well-rested. Get in touch with a sleep expert right away if you need help to breathe easy and stop snoring in Denver.
About the Author
Dr. Gary Radz discovered oral sleep appliances 10 years ago when he was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. Having experienced the results firsthand, he decided to learn more about them and provide his patients with the same life-changing care. If you’re concerned that sleep apnea might be affecting your pregnancy, schedule an appointment at his office by visiting his website or calling (303) 377-5337.