You’re expecting a bundle of joy. You can’t wait to meet your sweet, tiny baby. Although you haven’t even met yet, you’re already in love! You would do anything to keep your baby safe and healthy, and that includes keeping your body safe and healthy. But if you have sleep apnea, both of you could face serious health risks. Here is some helpful information about the relationship between pregnancy and obstructive sleep apnea in Denver.
Sleep apnea is a condition in which a person stops breathing while asleep. These lapses can last anywhere between a few seconds to a minute or more and can occur up to hundreds of times per night. Consequently, those with sleep apnea often don’t get deep, restful sleep.
The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which happens when the soft tissue in the mouth and throat blocks the airway. Although most often considered a condition suffered by overweight men, OSA can certainly affect women as well. Unfortunately, women are often misdiagnosed for other disorders and do not receive the appropriate treatment.
Sleep Apnea’s Effect on Pregnancy
It makes sense that consistent lapses in your breathing would affect your baby. When you don’t breathe, they don’t breathe. As a result, studies have found that OSA was associated with several pregnancy complications, including:
- Greater risk for preeclampsia.
- Gestational hypertension.
- Gestational diabetes.
- Pulmonary embolism.
- Preterm birth.
- Unplanned cesarean delivery.
- Low birth weight.
- Increased NICU admissions.
The risk of pregnancy-related death is five times more likely for pregnant women with sleep apnea than for those who do not have sleep apnea. Studies have also found that the severity of OSA tends to increase as pregnancy reaches the third trimester.
Signs of Sleep Apnea
Some of the signs of sleep apnea include the following:
- Frequent, loud snoring.
- Daytime drowsiness.
- Dry mouth or sore throat when you wake up.
- Difficulty focusing or poor memory.
Ask your sleep partner about potential sleep apnea signs you may be showing, as you may not be able to identify these signs on your own. If you think you have sleep apnea, contact your dentist or doctor.
The good news is that OSA is treatable—specialized sleep centers enable patients to receive the care they need. After undergoing a sleep study, you may be prescribed continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Through a mask that you wear over your mouth and nose, a CPAP machine raises the air pressure in your throat to prevent your airway from closing when you inhale, delivering more air to your body and your baby.
Although the most common standard of care for severe sleep apnea is CPAP treatment, it is not the only solution available. As a CPAP alternative in Denver, a custom-made oral sleep appliance can help open the airway, so you can breathe better during sleep.
If you think you may have sleep apnea, you need to address it both for your and your baby’s sake. It could prevent complications and help you have a healthier, happier pregnancy and delivery. Besides, you won’t get much sleep after the baby arrives, so you should try to get the best sleep you can while you can. Start addressing your sleep apnea by contacting your dentist or doctor today.
About the Author
Founder and owner or Downtown Denver Sleep Solutions and a former OSA sufferer himself, Dr. Gary Radz discovered the miraculous results that an oral appliance can have 8 years ago. Since then, he has provided his patients with sleep apnea care that has changed their lives. You can contact him by calling (303) 377-5337 or clicking here.