Does Sleep Apnea Affect Pregnancy?
Sleep apnea is another general condition commonly complained about during pregnancy, as well as fatigue and nausea.
Sleep apnea disorder occurs when your breathing stops for a short period during your sleep. The irregular breathing, which consists of a regular breath followed by a pause before you resume proper breathing, is continued multiple times throughout the night.
If you’ve been struggling to stay awake during the day, or you wake up with a throbbing headache, then you should contact our Greensboro sleep dentist today.
Signs of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
One of the hardest parts about experiencing sleep apnea is that you are unlikely to be the one who notices the symptoms, especially since many of the signs are the same as the usual effects carrying a child has on the body. Most of the time, it’s your partner that notices the symptoms of sleep apnea before you do.
Your partner might report that your snoring wakes them throughout the night and that it sounds like you are suddenly gasping for air. Other signs that you might have sleep apnea include irritability and mood swings, restlessness, and trouble with your memory.
Does Sleep Apnea Affect My Child?
Sleep Apnea is prevalent during pregnancy. One study by the National Institute of Health found that about 30% of women suffer from sleep apnea during their pregnancy. While it’s a common condition, it’s still dangerous for both you and your child because it deprives your body of oxygen.
When your body halts the breathing process, it lowers your blood oxygen levels and can increase your chance of having high blood pressure, depression, heart failure, obesity, stroke, or even a heart attack.
Your body is the sole-supplier for your baby, so anything that affects you also affects your child. Some of the adverse effects associated with untreated sleep apnea are as follows:
- Gestational diabetes—a form of high blood sugar, where those who develop it have a higher chance of developing type 2 diabetes later in life
- Pre-eclampsia—a potentially dangerous pregnancy complication that’s characterized by high blood pressure
- Fetal growth restrictions—a condition where the child doesn’t grow to normal weight during pregnancy
Fortunately, Dr. Katz and our highly-trained staff provide the necessary treatment plans that will increase your chances of having a healthy baby.
What Are My Treatment Options?
It is essential to seek treatment during pregnancy due to the harmful consequences sleep apnea can have on the mother and child. The current industry standard for treating sleep apnea is known as a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP), but there are alternative options for those who can’t adjust to their CPAP machines.
One helpful tip to help mitigate the adverse effects of sleep apnea during pregnancy is to have the mother sleep on her side. This method of positional therapy will help prevent snoring and will lower the chance of sleep apnea occurring.
Help Your Child Start Strong
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that needs the proper diagnosis and treatment. If you want to learn more about snoring and sleep apnea treatments that are appropriate during pregnancy, please call 336-346-8988 to schedule an appointment with our sleep dentist, Dr. Mark Katz in Greensboro, NC.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my sleep apnea symptoms go away after my pregnancy?
Sleep apnea symptoms may go away after your pregnancy or persist in the years that follow. Since it’s easy enough to discontinue treatment if your sleep apnea does disappear, it’s always wise to treat symptoms while they are present. Appropriate care helps protect the health of both you and your child and noninvasive therapies are easy to maintain for as long as you experience sleep apnea.
How common is sleep apnea during pregnancy?
Studies show that women are typically less likely than men to suffer from sleep apnea. However, the rates of sleep apnea during pregnancy increase significantly, affecting as many as one in four expecting mothers during the third trimester. This is generally understood to be the result of hormonal changes and the redistribution of body weight during pregnancy.
Can other conditions predispose me to developing sleep apnea during pregnancy?
While pregnant, certain medical conditions can make you more likely to experience new or worsened sleep apnea symptoms. You may have an increased chance of developing sleep apnea during your pregnancy if you suffer from conditions including:
- Preeclampsia or high blood pressure
- Diabetes, including gestational diabetes
- Deviated septum or other breathing issues