Nine months pregnant

All sorts of people usually snore for all sorts of reasons. Snoring can be caused by airway obstructions, weight, muscle tone,  and a host of other medical conditions. Men, women and children are all susceptible to snoring.

However, when snoring occurs during pregnancy, there may be a cause for concern. Snoring during pregnancy is sometimes a result of a condition called ‘hypertension’. This potentially devastating circumstance can affect the health and even pose a risk of death for both mother and child. Hypertension can also trigger developmental delays in the unborn child.

Snoring during pregnancy can also be a symptom of a pre-eclampsia. This condition causes swelling of the limbs, hypertension, and protein in the urine. Snoring can also be an indication of toxemia. Excessive sleeping during the day is another indicator of potential troubles.

During pregnancy, there is a noticeable increase in the production of blood, as blood provides nourishment for the growing fetus.  Generally, the blood vessels throughout the woman’s body also increase in size. Problems can happen as the blood vessels of the nose and throat increase in size, prompting a bloating of the mucus membranes. Obstructions may result, making it harder for the woman to breathe, and causing a snoring condition.

Studies have revealed that the frequency of snoring increases during pregnancy. It has been suggested that by the last three months of pregnancy, 24 percent of women will snore. Women who snored before pregnancy will experience a striking increase in the volume. Eleven percent of pregnant women experience excessive weight increase, which in itself will cause snoring. Women who already snored were found to experience more snoring, as well as severe swelling of the hands, legs, feet  and face.

A serious concern with snoring during pregnancy is that the infants borne to pregnant snorers can experience specific difficulties. These babies may be born with low birth weights and lower APGAR scores, normally scoring seven or less. Seven percent of snoring moms, in fact, gave birth to babies with reduced APGAR scores. It’s essential to note, however, that many of these women smoked during pregnancy, which can also greatly affect newborn birth weight.

Snoring during pregnancy can be lessened or even eliminated. Avoiding caffeine can help, as caffeine narrows the airways and produces more snoring. Sleeping on her side with an additional pillow can aid the expectant mother to breathe with an open airway. Using nasal strips is another effective way to reduce or stop snoring. Nasal strips are non-invasive, prescription-free appliances that are placed on the outside of the nose to open the airways during sleep.

Pregnant women can be more prone to increases in breathing problems, specificially upper respiratory issues. As they increase weight, these women experience greater pressure on the diaphragm, restricting breathing.

If you are concerned due to an increase in snoring during pregnancy, consult with your OB-GYN or healthcare provider. He or she will assess the snoring condition and consider possible effects on the fetus. It’s certainly better to treat the problem during pregnancy, than to risk severe complications for your child.


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