As an expectant mother, you prepare for many side effects, for example, weight gain, insomnia and morning sickness. However, what you may have forgotten to plan for is one side effect that pregnancy comes with; that’s snoring. According to studies, 25-30 percent of women snore during their pregnancy.
In a journal of SLEEP study, 35 percent of women were found to have snored 3-4 times a week or each day.
Another 26 percent of women started to snore for the first time during their pregnancies. The result is most expectant women are searching for solutions on how to deal with snoring during pregnancy. This post looks at how to stop snoring while pregnant.
What Causes Snoring?
Snoring occurs when the body's upper ways relax, which causes them to close partially. The result is that they make it difficult for you to get enough air through the nose and the mouth. Several factors make snoring regular when you're expectant. They include:
One reason is that as your baby and uterus grow, it will result in them pressing your diaphragm, meaning that you'll find it harder to breathe. That's whether you're sleeping, working out or sitting on a couch.
High levels of body hormones, such as estrogen, cause your nasal passages and mucus membranes to swell. The volume of your blood increases by 50 percent, which causes the expansion of your blood vessels and swelling of your nasal membranes.
Bear in mind that for the past thirty years, snoring rates have increased. One of the reasons may be that either women gain too much during the nine months of their pregnancy or start the pregnancy period while overweight. The resulting extra tissue around their necks is what leads to snoring.
According to a CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC) survey, over 50 percent of expectant women are either obese or overweight, which is among the causes of snoring.
Another reason that is often overlooked when it comes to snoring in pregnant women is stress. That’s because breathing gets affected by stress. Bear in mind that any stress on the body, whether it’s physical, mental, emotional or digestive stress can increase your breathing rate. This increase in breathing, when combined with throat muscles that relax during sleep time, can lead to snoring.
Snoring Risks to the Mother and Baby
You may think that snoring during pregnancy is a temporary or laughing matter. However, keep in mind that it’s a serious issue. The reason is that snoring during pregnancy leads to increased risks of fatigue, delivering a smaller baby, high blood pressure, and preeclampsia.
Expectant women who snore and have high blood pressure have increased risks of getting obstructive sleep apnea, which affects about one-third of women during their last stages of pregnancy. That’s according to a study by THE JOURNAL BJOG: AN INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF OBSTETRICS & GYNECOLOGY.
Expectant women who snore are also likely to undergo cesarean section while those who start snoring during pregnancy may develop an increased risk of undergoing emergency C-section.
According to CDC, another risk is gestationincreaal diabetes, which affects around 9.2 percent of women. The reason is that if you're not able to get enough oxygen; your body's glucose metabolism will be altered.
Snoring during pregnancy has also been found to be linked to depression during the pregnancy period in addition to postpartum depression.
5 Tips on How to Stop Snoring While Pregnant
- Change Your Breathing
Snoring is high volume and heavy breathing that happens during the night since most expectant women breathe too heavily during the day. Another point is that breathing through your mouth results in you breathing heavier since you'll take in more air at a faster rate.
The same brain receptor drives your breathing process during the night and day. It means that if you improve your breathing when you're awake, you will also do it as you sleep. Try using your nose to breathe. However, if you feel breathless, use your mouth to breathe, but ensure you do it a gentle and slow manner. It will reduce the chances of you snoring.
- Change Your Sleeping Position
Another tip is to change your sleeping position. The recommended side by experts to sleep is on your left, which enables you to improve blood flow. It also helps you to breathe gently. Another way is to consider elevating your head using pillows or use a pregnancy wedge pillow.
- Lose Weight
More than 30 percent of women have healthy weights before they become expectant. However, they end up gaining more weight than experts recommend during pregnancy, resulting in snoring issues. It means that you need to work with your nutritionist or physician to ensure that you eat the right amount of food during the pregnancy period.
Most women tend to be anxious or worried during the pregnancy period. The best way to deal with these issues is to find time to relax, have fun or meditate, which will enable you to reduce stress and prevent snoring.
- Consult a Specialist
A sleep specialist may conduct tests to find out if you have obstructive sleep apnea. The tests will enable the sleep specialist to know the extent of the condition if you have it. To ensure that you're comfortable, some physicians can offer you sleep studies at home. If you're diagnosed, a CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE (CPAP) device, which will open up your airways, may be recommended to you.
However, although your doctor may find the CPAP necessary, you'll be taking in less air. That's because you'll be breathing against resistance. Some patients consider the CPAP cumbersome, which means that they find it hard to use on a consistent basis. Consider talking to your doctor about the plan that suits you best.
The above informative article on how to stop snoring while pregnant should make it easier for you to enjoy your sleep. One way to know if you snore is to ask your partner if you do it. Consider stopping for some moments during the night to gasp for air.
If you have high blood pressure and snore for more than three nights in a week, the likelihood is that you may have obstructive sleep apnea. Consult your doctor if you're snoring while pregnant to ensure that you protect your baby and yourself.