Finally, you are in your last trimester of pregnancy with your due date looming on the horizon. It is getting increasingly hard to find a comfortable position to sleep. And adding to your sleep woes, your husband said that your snoring can knock the paint off the ceiling. Should you be concerned that your snoring and sleep deprivation can have an impact on the birth of your first child? Is there a connection between snoring pregnant women and complications?
It is estimated that at some point in time during pregnancy, up to 75% of women will have some type of sleep disturbance. If someone does not have a cold or allergies and snores, it is a good indication that they might have sleep apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder whereby the individual can stop breathing upwards of 100 times in any given hour while he or she sleeps. OSA is caused by an obstruction of the airway with one of the classic signs being snoring. People usually assume that OSA, for the most part, occurs in overweight, middle-aged men but that is not the case. It can present in women, in fact, often in pregnant women.
OSA is a serious disease that should not be overlooked. When left untreated, OSA can increase the sufferer’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. The same can be said when OSA, with the presence of snoring, occurs during pregnancy. Research has shown that when snoring begins during pregnancy, the woman is at greater risk for developing gestational hypertension and diabetes, and preeclampsia (condition whereby the pregnant woman has high blood pressure and significant amounts of protein in the urine). In a study published in The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology, researchers discovered that when snoring occurs in pregnant women, if treated, the incidence of cardiovascular complications will decrease by 12 to 19%.
Over the years, there has been quite a number of research studies that have focused on the association between sleep apnea and an increase in unfavorable pregnancy outcomes. Studies demonstrated that pregnant women with severe apnea had a greater incidence of premature babies. According to researchers at the University of Michigan Health System, women who snored before and during pregnancy were 66% more likely to have a baby born smaller than 90% of babies at the same gestational age compared to women who did not snore. In addition, these women were 50% more likely to need a Caesarian section. In other studies, data found a connection between moderate to severe sleep apnea but it has never been determined whether or not sleep apnea causes an increase in adverse outcomes in women who are also classified as obese.
Don’t let the bliss of your pregnancy cause any unexpected health issues. Contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 or schedule a free consultation when it’s convenient for you.