Anyone who suffers from sleep apnea may be at risk for health problems; however, a new study has shown that pregnant women must be especially vigilant about seeking out treatment for this sleep disorder, in order to protect their health and the health of their babies.
Typified by stop-starts in breathing and loud snoring, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common form of sleep apnea. Other sleep apnea types are mixed sleep apnea and central sleep apnea.
Doctors diagnose these sleep disorders by performing special tests, known as sleep studies, that isolate breathing irregularities. Once diagnosed, people with obstructive, mixed or central sleep apnea should seek out safe, effective treatment (such as continuous positive airway pressure therapy) that keeps their airways open, thereby granting them access to deeper, more restful sleep (and fewer side effects).
Side effects of OSA include daytime fatigue, cardiovascular problems, and morning headaches. People with chronic sleep apnea may also suffer from mood swings, and they may be more prone to accidents.
According to Dr. Judette Louis, who is employed at the University of South Florida, sleep apnea is not good for pregnant mothers or their unborn children.
Since sleep apnea may be triggered by weight gain and a wider neck circumference, pregnant women with higher body fat ratios may be especially susceptible to developing the disorder. Of course, many people with OSA unknowingly live with the disease every day; therefore, they will suffer from it while pregnant, without being aware of the risks that it presents.
If you’re planning to conceive or expecting a child, and you snore or exhibit breathing problems during the night, visiting your family doctor or obstetrician will be a wise decision.
Women with OSA May Need More C-Sections
During pregnancy, women who were diagnosed with OSA were usually heavier than non-OSA moms-to-be, and they also had more incidences of high blood pressure. The most startling statistic stemming from the University of Florida survey was the link between c-section births and sleep apnea.
CPAP Therapy is Safe for Pregnant Women
Because the CPAP machines, CPAP nasal masks, and CPAP accessories used to treat sleep apnea don’t require medication that may harm a growing baby, they are ideal treatment choices for obstructive sleep apnea.
If you want gentle treatment that minimizes the risk of c-sections or preeclampsia, talk to a sleep apnea treatment specialist today.
If you have a formal diagnosis of this disease, the cost of your CPAP gear may be partially or fully covered by your medical insurance. Today’s high-tech, easy-to-use CPAP equipment is portable, affordable, and designed to ensure better health for anyone who suffers from OSA (obstructive sleep apnea).