The Risks of Excessive Snoring and Sleep Apnea during Pregnancy

During pregnancy, especially during the first trimester a woman undergoes so many hormonal and physical changes. These hormonal changes result in the pregnant woman suffering from many physical conditions. One such condition is snoring. Snoring during pregnancy is experienced by some of the expectant moms especially during the later part of their pregnancy. Though snoring is quite normal and harmless, excessive snoring may be a troublesome sign.

Normal snoring can be altered by changing your sleeping position. Sleep on your sides and snoring will be reduced. This sleeping position during pregnancy will also reduce the pressure of your growing belly.

So, what are the causes of excessive snoring during pregnancy? Two factors are responsible for this condition. First you can put the blame on estrogen. The level of this hormone increases during pregnancy and it acts to relax the muscles around the neck. The second factor is excessive weight gain during pregnancy. Though weight gain up to 34 pounds during pregnancy is normal, weight gain beyond this is not ideal. The excessive fat is also deposited around the neck and may lead to snoring.

Excessive snoring may also lead to sleep apnea, which is characterized by cessation of respiration for about ten seconds. This condition may lead to oxygen deprivation and further resulting in preeclampsia. This is a condition during pregnancy which is characterized by hypertension and fluid retention. Symptoms of preeclampsia may also include headaches, vomiting, blurred vision, and affected liver function. Sleep apnea also affects your unborn baby. Babies born to mothers suffering from sleep apnea are found to be of low weight. Moreover, it is recommended that such babies are tested for possible abnormalities in breathing, muscle tone, and skin color.

So if you have developed snoring lately, it may be a telling sign of sleep apnea. There is no requirement for you to press the panic button until and unless your condition is severe. However, it is recommended that you go for regular prenatal checkups and report to your physician about such developments. It is also advisable that you stick to a recommended pregnancy diet and take up a light exercise regime to keep off excessive weight gain during pregnancy.