Does Sleep Apnea Affect Pregnancy?
Do you find yourself tossing and turning throughout the night? While this could be due to the natural changes that your body undergoes during pregnancy, it can also be a sign of something more serious. Getting adequate sleep is crucial during pregnancy for both you and your baby’s health.
Sleep apnea is a serious condition that affects millions of Americans. Sleep disorders occur when the airway becomes obstructed during sleep, causing you to frequently wake up during the night gasping for air.
The Signs of Sleep Apnea
Sleep apnea can cause secondary health conditions if left untreated, so it’s important to be aware of its symptoms. Patients who have a family history of sleep apnea, are overweight, or have a large neck circumference are at a higher risk of developing a sleep disorder.
Contact Dr. Winklemann if you notice any of the following sleep apnea signs:
- Frequently waking up throughout the night
- Gasping for air in the middle of the night
- Feeling tired throughout the day
- Increased irritability
- Difficulty concentrating
Sleep Apnea Can Harm You and Your Baby
Sleep apnea not only affects you and your body, but your unborn child’s well-being too. Since your body provides nutrients for your baby, a sudden change in oxygen or blood pressure can cause them to develop problems. Side effects of sleep apnea include heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
Pregnant women with sleep apnea may experience major health risk factors, such as:
- Gestational diabetes – an increased level of glucose in the blood
- Preeclampsia – high blood pressure during pregnancy
- Lower-blood oxygen levels
- Maternal obesity
- Increased risk of cesarean section
- Pulmonary edema – excess fluid in the lungs
- Increased risk of the newborn needing to be admitted into the neonatal intensive care unit
Effective Treatment Solutions
If you’ve received a sleep apnea diagnosis by your doctor, the next step is seeking proper treatment as soon as possible. The traditional treatment option is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), but many patients find that alternative treatments, such as oral appliances, are better suited for them.
Dr. Winkelmann will talk to you about the treatment options your physician provided you, and explain the benefits of each in detail. He’ll also suggest that you maintain a regular exercise routine to help improve your sleep and will address any questions or concerns you may have.
Visit Dr. Winkelmann for Sleep Solutions
If you’re worried that you’re experiencing sleep apnea during your pregnancy, contact our Wake Forest office to schedule a consultation with Dr. Winkelmann. Give us a call at (984) 237-1013 or fill out our convenient online contact form and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.