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How Sleep Apnea Affects Pregnant Women and the Fetus

sleep apnea while pregnant

Due to the fact that a surprising number of pregnant women don’t realize they have sleep apnea, doctors estimate that between one and ten percent of women who’ve had a child suffer through this sleep disorder. This condition causes you to pause during your regular breathing rhythm, which can lead to a variety of problems that revolve around not getting a good night’s sleep — affecting the health of both you and your baby.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

One of the most obvious signs of sleep apnea is snoring that’s loud enough to wake up the family. Your partner may have noticed that you appeared to be choking while in your sleep, wheezing heavily or struggling otherwise for breathe. All of these are a signal that the throat may be relaxed to an extent where the airways don’t fully open up while asleep.

Another sign of sleep apnea is excessive fatigue during the daytime. If you find yourself struggling to stay awake during your usual tasks, it may be a sign that the sleep you’re getting isn’t restful. Sleep apnea interrupts REM sleep which is the most restful type of slumber.

Considering the importance of sleep for the health of you and your baby, if you have any of these symptoms it’s important to visit your doctor to get checked out for sleep apnea.

How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Baby

When pregnant women suffer from sleep apnea, reduced oxygen flow for both the mother and her child.

Dr. Robert Atlas of the Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore states that the “fetus will then grow up to have different types of complications like diabetes, obesity and weight issues themselves and have something called the metabolic syndrome, which is associated with a number of different factors.”

In addition to being more susceptible to diabetes and obesity, women suffering from sleep apnea can also result in conditions such as preeclampsia. In fact, studies show that 42 percent of pregnant women with sleep apnea had developed preeclampsia, whereas those without sleep apnea developed preeclampsia only 17 percent of the time. Sleep apnea also doubles the rate of women requiring a C-section delivery.

In order to reduce the chances of complications during pregnancy due to sleep apnea, it’s best to consult with medical practitioners familiar with the condition, such as the doctors at Houston Sinus & Allergy. There are a variety of treatments that can be applied, including CPAP or a simple oral appliance that helps keep airways open. Consulting with experts helps to make sure that you select the best solution according to your situation.

Suffering from Sleep Apnea?

There are treatments to deal with the different types and causes of sleep apnea, which means there is no need to let this condition persist until big health problems develop.

If you or someone you know has sleep apnea, you can alleviate your suffering by visiting specialists like the doctors at Houston Sinus & Allergy. Contact us to arrange a visit with an experienced expert.