Pregnancy-Related Sleep Apnea

Are You Getting Enough Sleep?

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that makes it difficult for a person to get proper rest, resulting in a fatigued feeling during the day. Living with sleep apnea can also affect your daily activities. However, having this disorder while pregnant is a bigger challenge. As a mother, you want your child to be born healthy without complications. Pregnant woman waking up happy

In order for you and your unborn baby to be healthy, it’s important to get enough sleep. The great news is, Dr. Alice Bassford offers minimally invasive treatments for patients struggling with sleep apnea during pregnancy. 

Read this guide to learn more about the symptoms and risks caused by sleep apnea and how effective our treatments are for both you and your unborn baby.

Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy

It’s important to know the signs and symptoms of sleep apnea in order to get treated as soon as possible. Here are some of the common signs and symptoms:

  • Constant headaches
  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Restlessness at night
  • Heartburn overnight 
  • Awake gasping or choking for air
  • Insomnia 

Some of these symptoms may be the result of pregnancy and are often left ignored. If left ignored for too long, it can become more severe to the health of you and your unborn baby. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it’s best to call our Silver Spring office as soon as possible to schedule an appointment with Dr. Bassford.

What Are The Risks?

These are the health complications that can arise due to untreated sleep apnea in pregnant patients:

  • Maternal obesity
  • Prolonged labor
  • Fetal growth restrictions
  • Lower blood oxygen levels
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease
  • Unplanned C-section
  • Increased risk of neonatal intensive care

Not only does sleep apnea affect you, but it can also affect your unborn baby. Since the mother provides nutrients for their baby to grow, the sudden change in oxygen or blood pressure negatively impacts the health of your unborn baby.

We recommend seeking diagnosis and treatment in order to prevent these risks and limit the chance of pregnancy complications. 

Treatment Options

If you’ve been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea by a sleep specialist or your primary care doctor, it’s time to find the best treatment for you. At Silver Spring Sleep Solutions, we understand sleep apnea can affect the health of both you and your unborn baby. We offer minimally invasive care and treatment plans that are customized to fit your unique needs.

Traditionally, Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machines are the most commonly prescribed solution for sleep apnea. However, because of complaints that the machines are bulky, noisy, and uncomfortable, patients often discontinue their treatment. 

Fortunately, Dr. Bassford offers other alternatives to choose from. Oral Appliance Therapy (OTA) is a discrete option that many patients find more comfortable to use. Dr. Bassford will speak to you about which treatments are best suited for you and answer any questions that you may have about your care and its benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use CPAP during pregnancy?

Women with pre-existing OSA and an established CPAP treatment should continue with their treatment plan during pregnancy. Their CPAP prescription may need to be adjusted around the 24-week mark of pregnancy due to induced nasal congestion and an increased BMI. Women with untreated OSA during pregnancy should immediately seek help to prevent any possible health consequences for both themselves and their unborn baby.

Can sleep apnea harm an unborn baby?

Women with untreated sleep apnea during pregnancy face several health risks to themselves, as well as to their unborn child. Research shows that pregnant women with sleep apnea are more likely to develop preeclampsia, a high blood pressure condition. Babies born to women with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to be delivered via cesarean section and are admitted at higher rates to neonatal intensive care units.

This is why it’s especially crucial for pregnant women to seek diagnosis and proper treatment for sleep disorders. If you’re pregnant and suspect you may be suffering from sleep apnea, call our Silver Spring practice at 301-593-5500 so we can coordinate with your physician.

Get Your Sleep Back With Dr. Bassford

If you’re concerned about sleep apnea symptoms during your pregnancy, call us at (301) 593-5500 to schedule an appointment today. Dr. Bassford is committed to helping all patients in the Silver Springs area with sleep apnea. We’re here to ensure you get your quality sleep back and have an easy pregnancy free from complications.