Sleep apnea during pregnancy is mainly related to breathing of the pregnant woman while asleep during night. It is a breathing disorder in which a pregnant woman may stop breathing in between for a very short period and then resume breathing again in sleep contrary to normal inhaling and exhaling of the breathing process.
The said condition can occur in normal individuals apart from pregnant women. However the possibility of pregnant women having this disorder is high. Sleep apnea generally causes loud snoring in pregnant women.
As pregnancy progresses, the expectant mother may find it harder and harder to get sound sleep during the night.
Pregnant women suffering from mild disorder may face 5 to 15 breathing interruptions in a span of an hour in the night. Pregnant women with moderate sleep apnea can get up to 15 to 30 sleep interruptions and those with acute condition can have more than 30 sleep disruptions during a span of an hour in a night.
Even though the pregnant women with this disorder may not understand and remember the sleep disruptions, the overall sleep and rest levels get affected.
Risks Of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
The disorder of sleep apnea during pregnancy may lead to certain risks for expectant mother and baby. The risks involved can be summarized as below.
- Sleep apnea involves disruptions in breathing and breathlessness. This implies the reduced oxygen supply to the body. Acute condition may turn out to be dangerous for the expectant mother and baby due to lack of oxygen supply.
- Lack of oxygen may further trigger the risk of high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, diabetes, heart attack, heart fail and depression in pregnant women.
- Pregnant women with sleep apnea disorder are at the greater risk of getting gestational diabetes during pregnancy, which may turn out to be risky for the baby.
- This disorder most likely results in cesarean section delivery against the normal delivery; also the baby of the mother suffering from sleep apnea may develop breathing problems.
Symptoms Of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
The symptoms of sleep apnea in pregnant women are as follows
- Loud snoring: Pregnant women with sleep apnea generally snore loudly in sleep.
- Tiredness and fatigue: It leads to disturbed quality sleep, which may lead to increased tiredness and fatigue in expectant mothers.
- Headache: Headache can occur in the morning due to the lack of good quality sleep.
- Increasing mood swings, irritability, frustration, impatience and forgetfulness.
Natural Treatment For Sleep Apnea While Pregnant
Sleep apnea during pregnancy may turn dangerous in the long run for the expectant mother and baby, hence it is essential to treat it just in time during pregnancy.
Following measures can be used as the ways to curb this disorder
- Life style changes: It is essential to make some necessary changes like avoiding sleeping on the back in pregnancy. Doctors in most of the cases advice to avoid sleeping on the back for pregnant women. The ideal position to sleep during pregnancy is to sleep on the sides.
- Dietary changes: Obesity is one of the major causes. It is necessary to watch the weight increase rate. Also to include necessary dietary changes to keep the weight under control in pregnancy.
- Saline nostril sprays can be used for sleep apnea caused by cold and congestion.
- Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines may be prescribed by the doctors in case of acute disorder.