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How To Stop Snoring During Pregnancy?

  • Is snoring common during pregnancy?
  • What are the causes of snoring during pregnancy?
  • Are there any complications associated with snoring during pregnancy?
  • How to stop snoring when pregnant?
  • When should you see a doctor?
  • When will snoring go away?
  • Do pregnant women snore more than others?

Pregnant women are likely to snore, especially in the third trimester. Research states that 35% of women report snoring every day or three to four times a week. 26% snore only snore during pregnancy (1).

Have you too been snoring during pregnancy? In this MomJunction article, we will tell why you may be snoring and whether or not it is something to worry about.

Is Snoring Common During Pregnancy?

Snoring during pregnancy is relatively common, especially in the third trimester. Studies also reveal that habitual snoring (three to more nights in a week) increases from 7% to 11% in the first trimester and 16% to 25% in the third trimester (2).

Snoring could be harmless most of the times, but in some cases, it could indicate an underlying condition that could be harmful to you or the baby.

Knowing what causes snoring is essential to tackle it the right way.

What Are The Causes Of Snoring During Pregnancy?

Following are some of the possible causes of snoring during pregnancy.

  1. Nasal congestion: The increasing estrogen levels during pregnancy result in the swelling of the mucous membrane along the nasal passages. It increases the production of mucus, leading to congestion in the nasal cavity and ultimately snoring. Also, an increase in the blood volume expands the blood vessels, causing a swelling of the nasal membranes. This makes breathing difficult and may result in snoring (3).
  1. Fatigue: You may feel extremely tired when you are pregnant. This will lead to a deep slumber, during which you will lose control over the throat muscles. The muscles become too relaxed and obstruct the airways, causing vibrations as you breathe, creating the snoring sound (4).
  1. Weight gain: The increasing weight during pregnancy adds some extra fat to your neck and throat regions as well. This extra tissue compresses the airways, makes breathing difficult and causes snoring (5).
  1. Sleep apnea: Loud snoring could be one of the symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It is a condition where you stop breathing abruptly during sleep, due to a blockage in the airways. OSA has other symptoms such as gasping noises and daytime sleepiness (6).
  1. Colds and allergies: Cold, flu or allergies will also lead to snoring since they result in nasal congestion, which makes breathing difficult (7).

Snoring during pregnancy could be a temporary condition, caused due to the changes in the body. But that is not the case always.

Are There Any Complications Associated With Snoring During Pregnancy?

Snoring may not be a cause of concern. But if it is, you should know how to identify it and seek medical intervention.

Studies by the University of Michigan and the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine state that snoring could indicate a risk for the mother and the baby in the following cases (8) (9).

  • The swollen blood vessels, due to nasal congestion or weight gain, will restrict the flow of blood to the placenta, depriving the baby of nutrients and blood.
  • Habitual snoring is associated with poor outcomes for both the mom and the baby, including the risk of cesarean section and low birth weight babies.
  • Frequent snoring is likely to cause gestational diabetes, which could increase the risk of type 2 diabetes in later life.
  • There is a higher risk of preeclampsia due to excessive snoring during pregnancy, which could lead to premature labor and fatalities.
  • Another complication might be intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) that causes smaller babies with developmental delays (1).

If snoring is due to an underlying medical condition, then treating the condition will stop the snoring as well. If it is due to the bodily changes during pregnancy, you can try the remedies we tell you next.

How To Stop Snoring When Pregnant?

You may try these simple remedies to manage snoring.

  1. Use nasal sprays or strips that are readily available in pharmacies, and are a drug-free way to manage snoring. They clear the obstruction of the nasal passages and prevent snoring.
  1. Use a warm-mist humidifier in your bedroom to treat your nasal congestion and get relief from snoring. Choose a humidifier that works for eight hours or more for undisturbed sleep.
  1. Sleep on your left side to improve the blood circulation, and sleep soundly.
  1. Elevate your head with at least two pillows to allow free flow of air. This will ease breathing and reduce snoring.
  1. Watch your eating habits to avoid amassing more calories than needed. Excess weight gain could be one of the reasons for snoring. Therefore, watch what you eat and avoid foods with zero nutritional value.
  1. Quit smoking, alcohol and sleeping pills as they can block the airways and result in snoring. They are also dangerous for both the pregnant mom and the baby (10) (11).

If these remedies don’t help and your snoring is making you uncomfortable, you need to visit the doctor.

When Should You See A Doctor?

If you are snoring more than usual, tell your doctor about it. Also, call the doctor if you have the symptoms of preeclampsia.

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • A headache that refuses to go away
  • Swollen legs

Preeclampsia is an emergency. In most cases, a diagnosis of preeclampsia will necessitate an early delivery (12).

When Will Snoring Go Away?

You are likely to stop snoring after delivering the baby. If not immediately, you will get rid of it after pregnancy, as you lose the baby weight (13).

Do Pregnant Women Snore More Than Others?

Yes, pregnant women are likely to snore more than non-pregnant women because of their increasing estrogen levels, belly, and blood circulation. Those who never snored before pregnancy may develop the condition during pregnancy.

The good news is that you won’t snore forever. Once your baby is here, the snoring is most likely to vanish. But sleepless nights? Well, they are here to stay for a while! Don’t be surprised to find your partner wistfully talking about those beautiful ‘snore-filled’ nights!

Has your snoring become a nightmare for you and your partner? How are you dealing with it? Tell us in the comments section below.

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Kathleen King

Kathleen King

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