Pregnancy and Snoring – Are They Linked?
You are fully prepared for the insomnia, weight gain, and even the morning sickness. However it may be the case that you weren’t really that prepared for a rather uncommon side effect of your pregnancy – a simple frustration none other than snoring.
Based on studies on mothers to be during their pregnancy, it has been revealed that around 25% to 30% of pregnant women experience snoring. Another study even revealed that 35% of women were reported to snore 3 to 4 times weekly and some every day. On top of that, 26% of women claimed to snore only during the time of their pregnancy.
What Causes Snoring Anyway?
Snoring takes place when upper airways start to relax and partly close, making it much harder to get sufficient air through the nose and the mouth.
There are many reasons why it is common to snore during pregnancy.
For one, as your baby and uterus grow and press on the diaphragm, it is inevitable that it will become more difficult to breath, whether you are sleeping, working out, or even when you are just sitting on your couch.
As well as theses physical changes, increased levels of hormones, specifically estrogen in the body, can cause the nasal passages and mucus membranes to swell a little more again leading to airflow restriction. Another little known fact is that, the volume of your blood can also increase in some cases by as much as 59%, and this can then expand the blood vessels and cause swelling of the nasal membranes.
For the past three decades, the rates of snoring during pregnancy have become higher than they were before. One of the reasons behind this is that a lot of women either begin their pregnancies overweight, while some gain excessive weight during the span of 9 months. The tissue found around the neck area in particular can then lead to this snoring making its presence felt. The truth is that over 50% of pregnant women are obese or overweight before giving birth, and it is this added weight which in many cases is perfectly natural that can cause snoring issues where before there were none.
Stress is another factor worth mentioning that can often be overlooked when it comes to pregnancy and snoring. Stress can be especially high in new mothers to be, who are expecting their first baby or babies, and this anxiety in many cases can stem from the fear of the unknown, before giving birth for the first time.
Stress can affect breathing, and this breathing irregularity can then affect snoring. Any form of bodily stress, whether it is physical, emotional, mental, or even digestive stress which can result from eating a big meal can aggravate the rate of the body’s metabolism and breathing. This increase, combined with relaxed throat muscles while sleeping, can then give perfect conditions for snoring to make its presence felt. So are there any knock on effects apart from disrupted sleep and annoying sounds that expectant mothers should be aware of? Well yes there are a few but if you are about to have a baby or recently had one, and are reading this please don’t be overly worried or anxious. The following information is just some information to be aware of so you can ask your medical specialist about so you can be prepared and ease your mind.
The Risks of Snoring to Mom and Baby
Even though you might simply shrug off your snoring as something temporary or funny, snoring when you are pregnant is something worth considering and understanding to put your mind at ease.
Women who are also snorers when they are pregnant have a higher risk of fatigue, high blood pressure, preeclampsia, as well as having a tendency to have smaller babies.
A pregnant woman with high blood pressure and who snores at the same time has higher risks of obstructive sleep apnea. This condition can affect around 1/3 of women during the last stages of pregnancy.
Pregnant women who are also snorers are more likely to undergo a cesarean section and the ones who develop this during pregnancy have higher risk of getting an emergency C-section.
One more serious concern is gestational diabetes that affects as much as 9.2% of women. This is because when you cannot get sufficient oxygen, this can also alter your glucose metabolism. Pregnancy snoring has also been linked to postpartum depression and depression during pregnancy.
Ok so with all that been said, remember that all the conditions mentioned above have been extensively researched and treatments if so needed have been developed and refined. There is nothing you should be worried about, it’s more of a case of it being nice to know, so you can be prepared and ready. This will hopefully help reduce any further unknown stress down the line.
So are there any things to stop, reduce or even prevent snoring during pregnancy? Well the good news is yes there are some changes you can make that may help you solve this issue!
Things to Do to Stop and Prevent Snoring
There are various things you can do that may help you get rid of snoring before, during and after pregnancy. Remember you must be careful during pregnancy that any changes you implement are also safe for your baby. You should always check with a qualified specialist just to be certain. The remedies we have listed below are effective and natural solutions. Check out our blog post on the best sleep positions to stop snoring which may give you a better understanding of the benefits of sleep position in preventing snoring. Here are some things worth considering in order to reduce the chances of snoring becoming a proble for you;
Change Your Breathing
Basically, snoring is high volume and heavy breathing and it happens during night time since women are breathing heavily during the daytime. In addition to that, once you breathe through your mouth, breathing tends to be heavier and you will take in more air in less time. Since the same brain receptor drives breathing during the night and day, when you improve breathing while you are awake, it’ll carry over once you sleep. Try breathing through your nose rather than through your mouth, however if this makes you feel breathless, you may breathe through your mouth, yet try to ensure to do it in a gentle and slow manner. This will reduce snoring in certain cases.
Determine the Signs
It is definitely a wise idea to ask your partner if you’re snoring, or if you have ever stopped breathing momentarily during night time or gasped for air. Once you snore more than 3 nights a week and you have high blood pressure, it is also quite likely that you have obstructive sleep apnea. Even though it is common to be tired during pregnancy, extreme fatigue and daytime sleepiness are also strong indicators that you are snoring.
Change Your Sleeping Position
According to experts, it is recommended to sleep on your left side to achieve optimal blood flow. This position may also help you breathe more gently. You may also elevate your head using a pregnancy wedge pillow or any type of pillow you have there.
Basically, more than thirty percent of women with normal weight beforehand, who became pregnant actually gain more than the advised weight during pregnancy. Consult with your doctor or a nutritionist to ensure that you are eating the right amount during pregnancy.
Have Some Snacks
Since eating a big meal close to bed time may affect your sleep, eating dinner a few hours before you are ready for bed is recommended. Snacks can be good, yet avoid sugar since it could boost your breathing rate once it is metabolized and may result in you snoring.
See a Snoring Specialist
If you think you have signs and symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, finding the best sleep specialist is a wise consideration. This specialist may conduct sleep studies that will determine the severity of your condition. Several physicians may provide at-home sleep studies so you are more comfortable than visiting a clinic for testing.
It is actually normal to be anxious and be worried during pregnancy, yet finding time to meditate, exercise, and have fun may help you fix snoring and de-stress at the same time.
Pregnancy and snoring may somehow be connected. However, if you want to stop snoring and want to experience ease while sleeping, it is always be best to consult and talk with your physician or sleep specialist regarding the best plan that works for you effectively.
If you found this post helpful please share it so it can help others improve their life. We would love to hear your thoughts and comments on anything related to snoring and sleep. Are you someone who experienced snoring during your pregnancy? Did you have it beforehand and was it just a temporary inconvenience? What methods did you use to improve your snoring or sleep related situation?
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