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Stop Snoring During Pregnancy

Jan 15, 2008
Snorers come in all shapes, sizes, and varieties of human beings. And snoring may have as its cause a variety of medical conditions, as well as muscle tone, obesity, and airway obstructions. Women, men, and children can all suffer from snoring.

While snoring is not pleasant for anyone, during pregnancy, snoring is especially worrisome. It can be caused by hypertension, which is a very serious condition for both mother and fetus, which can lead to death. Hypertension can also lead to developmental delays in the fetus.

Snoring during pregnancy can also be a warning of a pre-eclampsia. This condition causes hypertension, swelling of the limbs and protein in the urine. Snoring can also be a sign of toxemia. Excessive sleeping during the day is another indicator of potential problems.

During pregnancy the mother's body produces extra blood to provide nourishment to the growing fetus. Her blood vessels increase in size at this time, throughout her body. However, when vessels in the nose and throat area enlarge, sometimes the mucus membranes become bloated. This can lead to obstructions causing breathing difficulties and strong snoring.

Scientists have indicated that pregnant women have greater snoring frequency, and up to a quarter of women will be snoring during the last three months of their pregnancy. Women who snored prior to pregnancy will likely find the volume of their snoring increases a great deal once pregnant.

Eleven percent of pregnant women experience excessive weight gain, which in itself will cause snoring. Women who already snored were found to experience more snoring, as well as severe swelling of the hands, feet, legs and face.

Another issue faced by those who snore during pregnancy is that babies can suffer as a result. Some are born with low birth weights, and often score seven or less on the APGAR scale. Reduced APGAR scores in babies were found in about seven percent of snoring moms. However, the study was complicated by the fact that many of the women also smoked during their pregnancy, something that can seriously affect birth weight.

Snoring during pregnancy can be reduced or even eliminated. Avoiding caffeine can help, as caffeine narrows the airways and creates more snoring. Sleeping on her side with an extra pillow can help the expectant mother to breathe with an open airway.

Using nasal strips is another effective method to reduce or stop snoring. Nasal strips are non-invasive, prescription-free appliances that are worn on the outside of the nose to open the airways during sleep.

Pregnant women can be more susceptible to increases in breathing problems, particularly upper respiratory issues. As they gain weight, these women experience greater pressure on the diaphragm, restricting breathing.

If you are concerned due to an increase in snoring during pregnancy, visit your OB-GYN or healthcare provider. He or she will assess the snoring condition and consider potential affects on the fetus. It's certainly better to treat the problem during pregnancy, than to risk serious complications for your child.
About the Author
Contributor Bernard Loten contributes to a variety of web sites, on healthy family and exercise fitness subjects.
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