The period of time between conception and birth holds tremendous power for the life-time health of the easily influenced growing human. During this 35-40 week pregnancy span an expectant mother must be in optimal health so that she can adequately supply her child with the nutrients needed for healthy development. Sleep apnea is an epidemic and has become increasingly common among pregnant women. The disorder is often characterized by a small airway, flaccid soft-tissue of the throat or underdeveloped anatomy. Oxygen restriction places the intrauterine baby at risk for: growth restriction (IUGR), diabetes or a stillbirth. Sleep apnea and pregnancy share a few similar symptoms, blurring the line between healthy and unhealthy body changes. Identifying the difference between the two will empower the mother to read her own body with higher precision and, if needed, take action toward a cure. A sleep study will place her on the fast track to making this happen. Once the issues are determined, oxygen treatment solutions are available.
7 Warning Signs From The Body That It’s Low On Oxygen
3. Gasping while trying to sleep
4. Excessive daytime sleepiness
6. Excessively dry mouth
What do sleep apnea and pregnancy have in common?
One of the primary similarities between sleep apnea and pregnancy involves fatigue. Pregnancy requires certain physical changes that come with growing new life; often including shortness of breath, due to the baby pressing against the mother’s diaphragm. The dividing line between both conditions determines how much oxygen the baby has access to and the level of restorative sleep the mother is able to achieve. Pregnancy without sleep apnea allows for adequate oxygen to get to the growing baby and provides an opportunity for the mother to benefit from deep sleep. Sleep apnea works against pregnancy in that it places a roadblock for oxygen or sleep to happen. This is because when the mother lies down to go to sleep, gravity paired with facial/airway obstruction make it impossible for her deeply inhale and exhale, the foundation of peaceful sleep. Her body instinctively keeps her awake or sends a clear alert signal such as snoring, indicating it is dangerously low on oxygen. A sleep study will be able to differentiate between the two.