Signs of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
Carrying a child to term is physically demanding. Patients who suffer from sleep apnea are placing an additional strain on themselves and their unborn children.
If you think you may be suffering from sleep apnea and you’re planning to get pregnant, you’ll want to contact Dr. Ronald Plotka for a consultation as soon as possible. He’ll make sure you get the right diagnosis and treatment to protect yourself and your unborn child.
Loud snoring is what people generally associate with sleep apnea, but not everyone who snores has this sleep disorder. A major sign of sleep apnea is choking or gasping for air during sleep. This symptom is often noticed first by your spouse or sleeping partner.
Further symptoms of sleep apnea include waking up feeling restless and fatigued, which can be hard to spot during pregnancy because of the natural stress carrying a child has on your body.
Additional signs that you might be suffering from sleep apnea include:
- Waking up with a headache
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination at night
- Nighttime heartburn
If you find it difficult to stay awake during the day or if you doze off while driving, we recommend contacting our office — Dr. Plotka will get you the help you deserve. You and your child’s safety is of the utmost importance to us.
Effects & Treatments
How Does Sleep Apnea Affect Pregnancy?
Untreated sleep apnea during pregnancy has been linked to increased incidents of diabetes, hypertension, and unplanned Caesarean sections. Mothers with sleep apnea have also experienced prolonged labor and fetal growth restrictions.
Women who suffer from severe sleep apnea symptoms might develop obesity hypoventilation syndrome, which happens when overweight people fail to breathe rapidly enough.
Living with this condition can result in low blood sugar levels and high blood carbon dioxide levels, which can have adverse effects on you and your baby.
Treating Pregnancy-Related Sleep Apnea
If you believe you may be suffering from pregnancy-related sleep apnea, it’s crucial for the safety of you and your child that you seek treatment as soon as possible.
Currently, the industry-standard treatment option is a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine, but there are alternative forms of treatment available for people who find their CPAP machine uncomfortable or difficult to use. Many of our patients in
Swampscott have found relief with our easy-to-use oral appliances.
One helpful way to reduce the negative effects of sleep apnea while pregnant is to have the mother sleep on her side. This is considered a form of positional therapy and works to prevent her from snoring, lowering her chances of suffering from further sleep apnea symptoms.
In the most extreme cases, the use of surgical procedures such as tracheostomy may be required to ensure that the mother and child are getting enough oxygen. But you can rest assured that Dr. Plotka will find the least invasive treatment possible and only consider surgery as a last result. Maintaining a healthy body weight during pregnancy is another way to prevent sleep apnea symptoms. This can be difficult because pregnancy causes natural weight gain. Light, pregnancy-safe exercise and a proper diet can make a huge difference, however.
Set Your Child Up for Success
Sleep apnea is a serious disorder that requires immediate medical attention. If you want to learn more about snoring, sleep apnea, and how they relate to pregnancy, contact our office at (781)469-1938 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Plotka today. He’ll see to it that you get the treatment you need to protect your child.