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How to manage sleep apnea during pregnancy

Sleep apnea during pregnancy

Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. The joy of motherhood knows no bounds, and it is a time for moms-to-be to celebrate. However, there are downsides to be aware of, including sleep apnea that many expectant moms experience at some point. Thankfully, there are ways to manage sleep apnea during pregnancy.

What is sleep apnea?

One of the conditions many pregnant women have to deal with is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is the reason three-quarters of pregnant women have insomnia. It can leave you tired and irritable. Sometimes, it may even lead to prepartum and postpartum depression.

By definition, sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder that causes people to stop and start breathing throughout the night repeatedly. Sleep apnea can cause you to loudly snore, and forcibly wake up often. Ultimately, it will worsen your sleep quality, which affects other parts of your life.

The most prevalent form of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, which happens when your throat muscles relax. Unfortunately, you can’t cure it entirely, but you can manage it. Below are some treatments that reduce and manage sleep apnea.

Try to sleep on your side

Generally, an excellent way to manage sleep apnea better is to alter your sleeping position. Once the baby bump grows, sleeping on your stomach won’t be very comfortable. Instead, a side position is something you’ll likely gravitate towards.

Several studies show that sleeping in a supine position – lying on your back, face-up – is one of the leading causes of sleep apnea. That makes sense, given that gravity increases the chances that the jaw and tongue move back, which reduces the airway and makes for breathing problems.

Avoid medications for sleep apnea during pregnancy

There are several medications available to help manage sleep apnea. However, talk to your doctor, and they will tell you while pregnant not to take them. Certain medicines tend to make sleep apnea symptoms worse and can also negatively affect your unborn child.

The FDA advises against using CBD while pregnant or breastfeeding, as well as ceasing the use of THC and marijuana. After that, you might consider opening your stash back up but make sure that you keep it safely away from the child. Look for a quality resource if your doctor approves your future use of CBD oil, such as Sunday Scaries CBD. Before using it to cure insomnia and pain, always consult your doctor for a prescription. Again, never use it while pregnant or breastfeeding.

Stay as healthy as you can

Many doctors advise people with sleep apnea to look at how to improve their health to help combat the condition. Why? Excess body fat can block the airways and obstruct a person’s nasal passages. That can make you very uncomfortable, which is why the extra fat needs to go.

As you gain weight while pregnant, you may feel uncomfortable in your body as it changes shape. But it is a beautiful thing that your body is preparing to grow a new life! You can still exercise in safe ways.

Yoga can prove to be just effective in managing sleep apnea during pregnancy. The various breathing exercises involved in yoga can help open up airways and clear your lungs, for example.

Use a humidifier

A humidifier is an excellent way to manage sleep apnea for many people. This is because the handy device adds moisture to the atmosphere, which can open your airways and decrease congestion in your nostrils. In turn, you are likely able to breathe better.

There are different types of humidifiers available on the market right now. Consult your doctor to find the best humidifier for your needs.

Oral appliances may help

If you are an expectant mother struggling with sleep apnea, try one of the multiple devices to help with that. Some of them include:

  • Tongue stabilizing devices: TSD is a device that protrudes the tongue and helps the upper airway structure as you sleep.
  • CPAP devices: Continuous positive airway pressure devices use a hose and mask to provide steady air pressure. When you’re using it, make sure the air isn’t leaking from the mask.
  • Mandibular advancement devices: This device is a cheaper alternative to CPAP but provides the same function. However, not everyone can use it.

The bottom line on sleep apnea during pregnancy

Sleep apnea is a very bothersome condition to manage, whether you are pregnant or not. To help manage it, consider one or more of the tips above.

Doing so can significantly improve your sleep quality as part of your overall goal to stay healthy while expecting a baby. Be sure to consult your doctor before using sleep apnea devices, as they will determine what device you can use since they all have different functions.

About today’s writer

Grace is a passionate writer and guest blogger. Her interests are health and well-being. Writing helps her to improve her knowledge, skills, and understanding of the industry. Apart from writing, she loves traveling and exploring new places.

Please note: This post is for informational purposes only and does not replace medical advice. Always consult your doctor if you worry that you have any concerns relating to sleep apnea, whether pregnant or not.


Top photo by cottonbro from Pexels

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