Pregnancy And Sleep Apnea
Pregnancy is such an exciting time as you await the new member of your family that will be joining you in a few short months. Although pregnancy can be exciting, there are also many changes that are constantly happening to a woman’s body. Women experience everything from hormone and mood changes to food aversions. One of the biggest changes that frequently happens during pregnancy is a change to your sleep habits and patterns. Some women find it difficult to get comfortable, especially towards the end of pregnancy, while others are up numerous times a night using the bathroom. There could be another reason that your sleep is being disrupted during pregnancy — sleep apnea.
If you are unfamiliar, sleep apnea is a condition that causes the muscles in the back of the throat to relax and restrict the airway, causing it to close up as you breathe in. As a result, the oxygen levels in your blood decrease, alerting your brain to awake and restart your breathing.
Am I at Higher Risk to Develop Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy?
Each person experiences different symptoms while pregnant. It is possible for pregnant women to develop sleep apnea during pregnancy as the airway can be filled with added mucus, causing constant congestion and making it difficult to breathe and have proper airflow while sleeping. Weight gain, especially if it is a considerable amount in a short time, can block your airway, making it more difficult to breathe at night.
During pregnancy, it can be difficult to determine if you are having poor quality of sleep due to the new life you are growing or if you are experiencing sleep apnea. Signs you may be experiencing sleep apnea during your pregnancy include:
- Loud snoring
- Waking up gasping for air
- Falling asleep while reading, watching TV, or while sitting at the computer
- Waking with a sore throat or dry mouth
- Morning headaches
If you are pregnant and you feel you may be suffering from sleep apnea symptoms, be sure to contact our office located in Auburn & Silverdale, WA. We are here to offer the support and help you need to get quality sleep before your new bundle of joy arrives!