It is no secret that sleep can be difficult when you are pregnant. It can be difficult to get enough rest even when you really need it, because of the difficulties getting comfortable, early pregnancy insomnia, and frequent late-night pee stops.

You might start snoring as your pregnancy progresses.

But it turns out there is one more thing that makes getting enough quality rest tough too: sleep apnea, a condition that researchers estimate may affect as many as 26 percent of all pregnancies.

Snoring is a condition where your breathing stops frequently while you sleep.

It happens when your upper airway gets blocked or collapses during the night, and you have to stop breathing for 10 seconds or more.

This occurs many times throughout the night. You might snore loudly or gasp when your breathing restarts.

Hormonal changes can cause sleep problems during pregnancy.

If you have higher levels of hormones, it can cause the mucus in your nose to swell, which can lead to snoring and sleep apnea.

Higher levels of progesterone, another hormone, also activate muscles, which can relax your airway and contribute to sleep apnea.

In addition, as you gain weight during your pregnancy, it can put more pressure on your airways, making it more difficult to breathe at night.

Your developing uterus and baby can put pressure on your lungs, which can cause air volume to be reduced.

As you get pregnant, you are less likely to sleep on your back, which increases the risk of sleep apnea.

Obstructive sleep apnea is a sleep disorder because it disrupts the quality of your sleep. As a result, if you have sleep apnea, you likely feel extra fatigued and groggy the next day. This is because each time your breathing pauses, you will partially wake up to make yourself breathe again — meaning you don’t sleep as deeply.

For you

When sleep apnea is left unaddressed, it can cause a lot of problems, such as a drop in oxygen in your blood, and a higher heart rate.

That is why the condition can raise your risk for or contribute to several other health conditions.

But during pregnancy specifically, sleep apnea can raise y

our risk of gestational hypertension (high blood pressure.) and gestational There is a disease called diabetes..

It could lead to:

For baby

Sleep Apnea can cause changes in your blood vessels, which can cause a decrease in the volume of blood pumped by your heart. This can cause the baby to have less oxygen in their blood and cause the baby to have a lower birth weight.

This can cause your baby’s heart rate to drop or acidosis. It can also contribute to fetal growth restriction, a condition where your baby doesn’t grow in-utero as expected, leading them to be smaller than their gestational age.

When your sleep is disrupted during pregnancy, it can also lower the amount of growth hormone released, leading to not only growth problems but also developmental issues. It can also increase the risk of preterm birth, as well as health problems or even the death of your newborn baby.

A pregnant person can have sleep problems.

However, the risk is higher if you have obesity, gain weight too quickly during pregnancy, or have gestational There is a disease called diabetes.. You are also more likely to develop it if you have a deviated septum or a wider neck.

Sleep apnea can make you feel tired and sleepy in the morning.

You might notice other symptoms.

You might snore more loudly, gagging or choking in your sleep, or even stop breathing for 10 seconds or more if your partner or anyone else sees you sleep.

If you or a loved one think you have sleep apnea during your pregnancies, it is important to inform your OB- gyptian or healthcare professional.

Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and then evaluate you.

They might also refer you to a sleep specialist, who can run a sleep study — or polysomnography — to measure things like your airflow, breathing patterns, and blood oxygen levels while you sleep.

This will help them determine the severity of your sleep apnea and develop a treatment plan that will work for you.

Treatment will depend on your sleep problems.

Your doctor will probably recommend you use breathing strips to open your nostrils and help you sleep.

They might recommend ways to reduce your nasal congestion.

  • The sprays are made of saline.
  • The rinses are made with saline.
  • humidifiers in the room where you sleep

If you want to take an over-the-counter sedan that is safe to take during pregnancy, be sure to get it from your doctor.

They might suggest some changes to your diet to help you gain weight during your pregnancies.

They might prescribe in more serious cases of sleep apnea.

CPAP machines are generally covered by insurance and are machines that require that you wear a mask over your nose and mouth while you sleep. This mask provides you with a gentle, continuous flow of air to help keep your airways open so you can breathe without disruption.

If your sleep apnea is not severe, your doctor will probably recommend some home remedies to reduce your sleep apnea before you get a CPAP machine.

These can include:

Sleep positions

Sleeping on your back can make sleep apnea worse. Your doctor will recommend sleeping on your left side during your pregnancies.

“If this isn’t your usual sleeping position, you should consider getting a body pillow or pillow wedge to help you feel more comfortable on your side.”

You can try to remind yourself not to roll into the wrong position by putting something behind your back, like a tennis ball or a hard book.

Healthy eating choices

Gaining weight at a doctor-recommended pace can help reduce your risk of developing sleep apnea, which is why it is important to focus on healthy foods that keep you full rather than snacks.

If you are gaining weight too quickly or are unsure about what to eat during your pregnancies, talk to your doctor. They will be able to make some recommendations.

Wear nasal strips

Over-the-counter nasal strips can be very effective at keeping your airway open and clear while you sleep.

Sleep apnea can be improved with treatment, which will reduce your risk for long-term health problems.

Does it go away after pregnancy?

It depends.

Research suggests that sleep apnea improves or resolves completely after pregnancy — especially if you didn’t have it before you got pregnant.

If you lose some of the extra weight of your pregnant wife, you may see a improvement in sleep apnea.

“If you don’t, let your doctor know so they can discuss long-term treatment options with you.”

Does it affect the baby?

Some studies suggest that there might be some long-term consequences for babies who have sleep apnea, but it is not known what the long-term effects are.

For example, one older study found a correlation between kids born to moms with sleep apnea and lower social development scores, while another found shorter telomere lengths in their DNA, which can sometimes lead to age-related disease.

However, further research is needed before we’ll know for sure what long-term effects there might be on the baby.

Sleep apnea can develop in a pregnant woman when the baby grows in your uterus and puts pressure on your lungs. Your hormones can increase your risk of sleep apnea.

This can put you at risk for a number of health complications, including gestational There is a disease called diabetes., preeclampsia, preterm birth, labor for a long time, or an unplanned c-section. It can also put your baby at risk of not growing and hitting gestational milestones.

There are treatments that you can try, including the nasal strips and the CPAP machines. The condition might improve after your baby arrives.