Do You Have Sleep Apnea?
Pregnancy comes with a lot of physical and emotional changes to the mother’s body and well-being. Some of these changes can be easily overlooked. One of the most important things women need during their pregnancy is quality sleep. Although it’s common to sleep less during the third trimester, early signs of poor quality rest can be an indication that you’re suffering from a sleep disorder.
Are you aware of the quality of sleep you’re getting? Many women don’t know they have sleep apnea until their partner notices their loud gasps or choking sounds at night. If left untreated, sleep apnea can lead to health problems for both the mother and newborn.
Seeking a proper sleep study can help identify the problem and get you and your baby the care you need early on. If you’re unsure where to get a sleep study, Dr. Buchanan can recommend one in the San Rafael area.
Risks of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
Sleep apnea may increase their risk for future health complications such as heart failure, diabetes, stroke, kidney failure, and high blood pressure. However, women carrying a baby may generate more complications for themselves and their newborn if they suffer from sleep apnea and ignore it. Some of these risks include:
- Lower blood-oxygen levels
- Maternal obesity
- Gestational diabetes — an elevated level of glucose in the blood during pregnancy
- Preeclampsia — high blood pressure during pregnancy, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria
- Increased risk of needing a cesarean section delivery
- Pulmonary edema — excess fluid in the lungs
Discovering Solutions for You & Your Baby
Having your sleep apnea diagnosed early on can help lower the risk of future problems for both you and your baby. For mild sleep apnea, simple lifestyle changes such as sleeping on your back can reduce symptoms, which is something pregnant women should be doing anyway. Also losing weight, following a well-balanced diet, and throat exercises can all help as well.
If your sleep apnea is more severe, a CPAP is often the first prescribed treatment for patients. However, this method of treatment has been too uncomfortable and noisy for sufferers and so they often seek another alternative.
Here at our San Rafael office, Dr. Buchanan offers a number of different oral appliances that help alleviate sleep apnea symptoms. An oral appliance is generally more favored by patients due to its small size, convenience, and comfort. Call to schedule a consultation today to see if an oral appliance is right for you.