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Sleep Apnea & Pregnancy

January 11, 2022

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sleep and pregnancy

Having trouble sleeping during pregnancy is relatively normal. Thanks to classic symptoms, such as heartburn, nausea, and a drastic change in hormone levels, many women struggle with disordered sleeping throughout their pregnancies. In most of these cases, simple lifestyle changes are enough to combat the effects of minor sleep conditions. However, more dangerous disorders, like sleep apnea, require professional treatment.

Whether it’s diagnosed before or during pregnancy, sleep apnea poses a significant risk to a woman’s health, and consequently, the health of the baby. Keep reading to learn more about managing sleep apnea during pregnancy and the best forms of treatment.

How Does Pregnancy Affect Sleep Apnea?

Many researchers agree that sleep disorders can severely impact pregnant women. For example, one recent study shows that sleep apnea may cause or worsen other serious conditions during pregnancy, including gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, and preeclampsia.

Additionally, further research has concluded that pregnant women who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) at the time of delivery are at a higher risk of having congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and even in-hospital death. Women who have sleep apnea during pregnancy typically develop symptoms similar to the condition in other patients. The most common signs of sleep apnea include:

  • Loud snoring
  • Pauses in breathing during sleep (apneas)
  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Waking up choking, gasping, or snorting
  • Frequent nighttime urination (nocturia)
  • Insomnia

Best Ways to Treat Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy

Because of the dangerous symptoms associated with sleep apnea, it’s crucial that pregnant women are diagnosed and receive treatment as soon as possible. There are various ways to reduce sleep problems during pregnancy, most of which start with simple lifestyle changes. For example, overweight or obese women can benefit tremendously from a professional weight management program.

Another way to reduce sleep apnea symptoms is to avoid sleeping on your back. Interestingly, sleeping on the left side with the legs slightly curled is considered the best sleeping position for pregnant women. This position helps facilitate blood flow to essential organs and improves the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to the fetus.

If symptoms persist despite a person making adequate lifestyle changes, the best treatment for sleep apnea is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. CPAP machines use air pressure to help keep the airway open while a person sleeps, effectively reducing the frequency of dangerous apneas. Most people experience near-immediate relief from CPAP treatment. However, patients must use the machine regularly to see noticeable changes in their sleep quality.

Advanced Homecare CPAP Supplies

Sleep apnea can be frustrating, but it doesn’t have to make your life more difficult during pregnancy. If you’re pregnant and think you’ve developed sleep apnea or you’ve already been diagnosed, it’s essential to treat your symptoms appropriately to avoid serious complications.

At Advanced Homecare, we offer a wide range of CPAP machines and supplies suitable for use during pregnancy. Contact us today to learn more.

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