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How Obstructive Sleep Apnea Can Affect Your Pregnancy

December 1, 2018

Filed under: Uncategorized — drmogell @ 3:40 pm
pregnant woman sitting on bed

Needless to say, bringing a child into the world is no easy task, leading many expecting mothers to constantly feel exhausted throughout their pregnancy. For some, this is further complicated because they also have obstructive sleep apnea in Vero Beach, a very serious disorder that can have dire consequences for both mother and child. If you’re pregnant (or hope to be soon), getting your sleep apnea under control is essential to having both a smooth pregnancy and healthy baby.

Pregnancy Complications Associated with Sleep Apnea

Research has shown that pregnant women who also have obstructive sleep apnea are at a much greater risk of experiencing:

  • Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS)
  • Preeclampsia
  • Gestational diabetes/hypertension
  • Pulmonary embolism
  • Preterm birth
  • Unplanned C-section delivery
  • Low birthweight
  • Stillbirth

What To Do If You’re Expecting & Have Sleep Apnea

As with anyone who is either pregnant or has sleep apnea (let alone experiencing both), the first thing they should do is contact their doctor. They’ll be able to assess a patient’s risk for having sleep apnea, and if a patient is showing obvious signs (chronic exhaustion, loud snoring, waking up choking or gasping for breath during the night), their doctor can arrange for them to undergo a sleep study. Once this is completed and a patient has been officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, they will be able to seek out treatment.

How to Treat Sleep Apnea if You’re Pregnant

Fortunately, the two most common sleep apnea treatments are 100% safe for pregnant women, and these are CPAP therapy and oral appliance therapy.

With CPAP therapy, a person simply wears a facial mask connected to an air pump when they go to bed, and this provides a consistent flow of oxygen that ensures that they are able to breathe normally throughout the night.

Or, for those who don’t like the noise or sensation of wearing a CPAP machine, a specially-trained sleep dentist can custom-design an oral appliance for them to wear. Worn just like a mouthguard, it works by slightly adjusting the lower jaw forward, which prevents the airway from becoming closed off during the night (and as an extra benefit, these appliances can instantly help someone stop snoring as well!).

Either way, once a patient has their sleep apnea under control, they will greatly minimize their risks for the complications listed above and should enjoy a relatively stress-free pregnancy/delivery.

Don’t Wait

While feeling tired during pregnancy is very normal, if an expecting mother just can’t seem to get enough sleep and exhibits the major symptoms of sleep apnea, then they shouldn’t hesitate to contact their doctor. With the right treatment, mothers-to-be can get two things they desperately need: one less thing to worry about and a full night’s rest!

About the Author

Dr. Kenneth Mogell is a longstanding sleep dentist who has practiced in Florida for more than 30 years. For patients (pregnant or otherwise) in need of sleep apnea treatment, help with snoring, or those who would just like to try a CPAP alternative in Vero Beach, Dr. Mogell can provide custom-made sleep appliances. To learn more and get in contact with him today, he can be reached through his website.

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