Many women complain about snoring during their pregnancy, and it isn't their partner who is the perpetrator. Pregnancy snoring is not uncommon. It is estimated that nearly 30 percent of women are snoring by the end of their pregnancy. As the pregnancy develops, so does the snoring so a woman who never snored in her life (that she is aware of), may find herself snoring heavily by the third trimester.
The Connection Between Preeclampsia And Snoring
A study completed in Sweden, at the Umea University Hospital, explored the connection between preeclampsia (toxemia) and snoring. Preeclampsia is a condition that is peculiar to pregnancy, usually occurring after the 20th week gestation, and affects close to seven percent of pregnant women. Increased blood pressure, protein in the urine and swelling, especially in the appendages, is characteristic of this problem. These symptoms may be accompanied with headaches, vision problems, fatigue, liver function abnormalities, and vomiting.
The findings of the Swedish study raised some interesting data concerning snoring and toxemia. Habitual snorers had greater weight gain during their pregnancy, something associated with preeclampsia. Of the 500 women studied, 10 percent of them who habitually snored met the definition of preeclampsia with hypertension, and had protein in their urine compared to four percent of non-frequent snorers. Edema (swelling) was reported more among women who snored habitually and it occurred in 52 percent of the habitual snorers as compared with 30 percent for others. The researchers noted that all of the subjects in the study, who snored habitually and had preeclampsia, began snoring before any other sign of preeclampsia was evident. Babies born to women who snored habitually also had lower birth weights and low Apgar scores of less than seven.
Data Confirmed By Researchers In Scotland
A study completed at the Edinburgh Sleep Center found that women in the third trimester of pregnancy developed a narrowing of the upper airways. Women with preeclampsia had even narrower airways than women who did not, and pregnant women had narrower airways than women who are not pregnant. The cause of preeclampsia is not known, but there does seem to be a link between preeclampsia, snoring and low birth weight. It is confirmed that snoring is a predictor of preeclampsia because it is noted before any other symptoms arise, such as increased blood pressure and protein in the urine.
It's Little Wonder...
Changes in breathing patterns are common for pregnant women as well. When the baby grows, the pressure upon the lungs and other organs increases and alters the way a woman breathes. This has an effect upon a variety of different body functions. High blood pressure, increased liver workload, fluid retention, constriction of airways and snoring are all related to poor breathing. By controlling the breathing through breathing exercises and changes to diet and lifestyle, a pregnant woman can reduce the incidence of snoring during pregnancy. Maintaining good pregnancy health and prenatal visits can help a woman take the necessary precautions for herself and her baby.