Protect Your Child’s Health
Carrying a child is a heavily demanding task on its own, but mothers who suffer from sleep apnea have even more challenges to deal with.
Dr. Clinton is a sleep specialist who emphasizes convenient, minimally invasive treatment for sleep apnea. If you’re an expecting mother who suffers from this disorder, explore our guide to learn how to ensure your child’s safety.
Sleep Apnea, Snoring, & Pregnancy
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that causes the muscles in the back of your throat to relax while you sleep, blocking your airway and interfering with your ability to breathe overnight. One of the most prominent symptoms of sleep apnea is loud and frequent snoring.
When a pregnant woman snores heavily, this may be a sign of sleep apnea, though not everyone who snores suffers from this disorder. If it sounds like the person is choking or gasping for air while they sleep, this is more likely an indication of sleep apnea versus typical snoring.
The Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
Common signs of sleep apnea in pregnant women include:
- Constant headaches
- Dry mouth
- Frequent urination
- Heartburn overnight
- Daytime fatigue
- Restlessness overnight
Though some of these symptoms may be a result of your pregnancy and nothing more, Dr. Clinton advises that you play it safe and undergo a sleep test. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, contact our office as soon as possible.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Unborn Child
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that requires professional attention. Without treatment, it can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and unplanned Cesarean sections. Sleep apnea during pregnancy has also been linked to prolonged labor and fetal growth restrictions.
Another complication that can result from sleep apnea during pregnancy is obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS). This describes when an overweight person fails to breathe sufficiently, causing blood carbon dioxide levels to rise and blood sugar levels to drop. These changes can be detrimental to both your health and the health of your unborn child.
Treating Pregnancy-Related Sleep Apnea
To protect the health of your child, it’s crucial to identify and treat sleep apnea as early as possible. The first treatment prescribed is often a CPAP machine, though most patients complain that it’s too uncomfortable and noisy to sleep with.
As an alternative to CPAP, Dr. Clinton offers customized oral appliances. These devices gently shift your lower jaw forward and prevent your tongue from collapsing into the airway, allowing you to breathe freely overnight.
Unlike CPAP, oral appliances are comfortable to wear, silent, easily portable, and allow you to sleep in any position you like. For many patients with sleep apnea, an oral appliance is the key to finally enjoying the quality sleep they deserve.
Visit Dr. Clinton for Sleep Apnea Treatment
Dr. Clinton and our dental team fully understand the impact of sleep apnea on pregnant women. Without proper treatment, you and your unborn child both face a serious risk of developing health complications.
Thankfully, Dr. Clinton can provide the comfortable and effective care you need with oral appliance therapy. Call our office today at (972) 73-SLEEP to schedule a consultation with Dr. Clinton. It’s the first step to a better night’s sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will my sleep apnea symptoms go away after my pregnancy?
Sleep apnea symptoms may subside after your pregnancy or persist in the years that follow. Since it’s easy enough to discontinue treatment should your sleep apnea disappear, it’s always wise to treat symptoms while they are present. Appropriate care helps protect the health of both you and your unborn child and noninvasive therapies are easy to maintain for as long as you experience sleep apnea.
How common is sleep apnea during pregnancy?
Studies show that women are typically less likely than men to suffer from sleep apnea. However, the rates of sleep apnea during pregnancy increase significantly, affecting as many as one in four expecting mothers during the third trimester. This is generally understood to be the result of hormonal changes and the redistribution of body weight during pregnancy.
Can other conditions make developing sleep apnea during pregnancy more likely?
While pregnant, certain medical conditions can predispose you to new or worsened sleep apnea symptoms. You may have an increased chance of developing sleep apnea during your pregnancy if you suffer from conditions including:
- Preeclampsia or high blood pressure
- Diabetes, including gestational diabetes
- Deviated septum or other breathing issues