Snoring During Pregnancy

11/11/2009 06:29

Some women have never snored until they became pregnant. It feels weird, certainly embarrassing and definitely not like you to snore, especially when you have never snored before in your whole life. So why now, you wonder!
During pregnancy many changes occur within the respiratory system, which can alter the function of sleep, increasing the likelihood of sleep disordered breathing. These changes might include circulating estrogen and progesterone levels increase markedly during pregnancy. Additionally an increase in circulating blood volume may give rise to nasal congestion and rhinitis this may cause the blood vessels to expand. This expansion in the nasal area causes the mucus membrane to expand as well and become congested. The upper air way narrows and makes you more prone to snoring. It is more common during the second half of the pregnancy and even more pronounced during the last trimester.

Some things that you can practice to prevent or reduce snoring include:

Sleep on your side rather than your back. Sleeping on your back can block your airway (in any case you should be sleeping on your sides now that you are pregnant!).Prop up your head with extra pillows; sleeping in elevated positions will help keep your airways open.

Keep your weight in check. Overweight women are in particular at higher risk of developing snoring-related problems. Studies indicate that women who were regularly snoring during pregnancy had weight issues prior to becoming pregnant and ended up gaining more weight than the desired level during pregnancy.

Cut back on caffeine to zero as it narrows down the airways and can cause you to snore more.

When to seek help:
If you experience loud snoring, if your snoring wakes you up frequently or if your partner feels that your snoring is interrupted by periods of stopped breathing, contact your doctor. Alerting your doctor will ensure you and your unborn baby get the necessary help.