One woman out of four snores in pregnancy, what are the causes? Are there any risks for the mother and the baby? Are there remedies?
Snoring in pregnancy is quite common, caused by the belly that grows and presses on the abdomen. It usually disappears after the birth of the baby. However, you should not underestimate it, as it could be dangerous both for the mother and the baby.
Snoring in pregnancy: causes
25-30% of pregnant women start snoring during the third trimester, when the belly is almost at its biggest shape. The uterus lifts and pushes the diaphgram, presses on the abdomen and compresses the lungs, making breathing harder.
Another common cause for snoring during pregnancy is the high level of hormones. Estrogen and progesterone in a pregnant woman increase the circulating blood volume and relax the upper airways, closing them during sleep. This can cause pregnancy rhinitis, which blocks and makes the nasal membranes swollen. This makes difficult to breathe from the nose and the mouth.
An incorrect diet can also contribute to this problem. Eating too much and the gastroesophagus reflux irritate the stomach membrane, causing respiratory problems.
Is snoring during pregnancy dangerous?
If, other than snoring, you experience obstructive sleep apnea, problems in falling asleep or sudden nocturnal awakenings, there can be a risk of more serious problems, such as gestational diabetes, hypertension and pre-eclampsia.
Obstructive sleep apnea, as for all the other sleep disorders, decrease the blood oxygen and cause stress. Moreover, they can increase the blood pressure, as well as the risk of hypertension and pre-eclampsia. This can cause premature and C-section births, or the baby can be underweight.
It is also important to keep your weight under control. Being overweight during pregnancy, especially around the neck contributes to the compression of blood vessels, which hinders your breathing. Moreover, the lack of oxygen alters the glucose metabolism, thus causing gestational diabetes.
If you are pregnant and you suffer from high blood pressure, overweight and sleep apneas, you better see a doctor. In this way, you can go on with your pregnancy without worries and both you and your baby will be healthy.
Remedies against snoring during pregnancy
As mentioned above, this type of snoring is temporary and will disappear once you give birth. However, to avoid snoring during your third trimester, you can follow these advice:
- Monitor your weight during pregnancy and follow a balanced diet.
- Sleep on your side, with your legs bent. It is better to sleep on your left side, with a pillow between your legs, to enhance your blood circulation.
- Do not have rich dinners and don’t lie down right after you have eaten.
- Clean your nose often, even with saline.
- Use a humidifier, so your nasal membranes will not dry out.
- Sleep on a not too soft mattress, with a pillow which can keep your head lifted.
Photo source: https://pixabay.com/it/donna-incinta-asiatici-cinese-1118212/, https://pixabay.com/it/incinta-donna-pancia-femminile-193839/
Nicoletta Chiara Romano