Snoring During Pregnancy: Everything You Should Know

Even though snoring is usually harmless, sometimes, and particularly in pregnancy, it can relate to important pathologies. This includes high blood pressure.
Snoring During Pregnancy: Everything You Should Know

Last update: 13 July, 2021

For some women, snoring during pregnancy can be really annoying. This is because it doesn’t only affect them, it also interferes with their partners’ sleep. There are many reasons for snoring during pregnancy. This is why we’ll talk about snoring during pregnancy in this article.

Snoring is more frequent during the third trimester. Even though it’s usually harmless, sometimes, it relates to certain conditions which may put the mother or the fetus at risk.

What are the reasons for regular snoring?

Snoring can be quite normal among adults. According to an article from the U.S. National Library of Medicine, snoring relates to airflow obstruction in the breathing passages.

Pregnant woman snoring.

Snoring doesn’t only affect pregnant women, it also interferes with their partner’s sleep. In fact, it may even cause insomnia. Besides, on some occasions, the ones who snore may not even notice it, so their snoring slips by unnoticed. However, in some cases, it might be a symptom of obstructive sleep apnea.

Adults may snore for several reasons. According to the article previously mentioned, being overweight, turbinate hypertrophy, allergic or inflammatory diseases can be some of them.

You may be interested in: How to Detect and Treat Sleep Apnea in Children

What are the differences between pregnant women and other adults?

Many pregnant women snore just like the rest of adults do. In fact, some of them already snored before getting pregnant. However, when these symptoms appear for the first time after getting pregnant, it probably relates to the physiological changes women experience in their bodies in order to allow the future baby’s development.

Of course, this includes hormonal changes. Probably, this favors blood vessels activity, which covers the upper respiratory airways. If these vessels dilate (increase in size), it may promote mucus production and secretion.

Moreover, this mechanism explains why many pregnant women have nasal congestion during their third trimester. Besides being extremely uncomfortable during the day, it’s quite annoying during the night.

How long do these symptoms last?

As we’ve mentioned before, they usually occur during the third trimester. However, they may appear before and even last after the baby is born.

In fact, as long as there are levels of female sex hormones in blood, body changes may persist. However, everything should go back to normal a few weeks after the baby is born, during a period called puerperium.

Does snoring during pregnancy affect the baby’s growth?

At first, occasional snoring shouldn’t affect the future baby’s development. However, it’s important to bear in mind that snoring during pregnancy can make women prone to suffering from more serious conditions, which can affect intrauterine development.

We’ve already talked about one of the possible conditions, which could be related to snoring during pregnancy: obstructive sleep apnea. In this case, since sleep is interrupted, women may wake up with a feeling of panic. Notwithstanding, you should know that this condition doesn’t only affect pregnant women; many adult men can suffer from it, too.

Another possible cause of snoring during pregnancy is high blood pressure. Even though there isn’t much information, different studies have shown that there’s a relationship between these two conditions, and they highlight the risk for preeclampsia.

Pregnant woman sleeping.

Continue reading: What Is Intrauterine Growth Restriction?

Is there a treatment for snoring during pregnancy?

Even though there’s no definitive treatment for snoring during pregnancy, there are several measures you can take at home, in order to prevent these symptoms from appearing or getting worse. According to an article from the American Thoracic Society, the following are some of the measures you can take:

  • Elevate the head of your bed.
  • Use regular harmless methods to alleviate nasal congestion, such as saline nasal spray.
  • Take a morning nap for approximately 30 minutes.

Depending on weather conditions, a humidifier in the bedroom could be really useful during the night.

Snoring during pregnancy, a condition that can be controlled

In most cases, snoring during pregnancy isn’t a real problem. Unless it affects your lifestyle or your partner’s routine, you may not even realize you’re having these symptoms.

However, if you have any doubt about this, you should ask your family doctor. Specially, if you’re experiencing changes that can relate to obstructive sleep apnea or high blood pressure.

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  • Bourjeily G, et al. Síndrome de apnea-hipopnea obstructiva del sueño (SAHOS) y embarazo. Rev. Fac. Med. 2017 Vol. 65 Supl: S69-76.