Could my pregnancy be causing me to snore?
Yes, it certainly could. Snoring is common in pregnancy, affecting about a third of pregnant women, many of whom have never snored before. There are two things that cause snoring during pregnancy: weight gain and pregnancy hormones which cause nasal congestion.
Even if you control your weight during your pregnancy, hormones cause the mucous membranes in the nose to swell, constricting the movement of air through the nasal passages and causing snoring. This tends to begin in the second trimester and the stuffy nose can continue throughout the pregnancy. Excess weight gain results in extra tissue around the head and neck, aggravating snoring.
Could my snoring indicate a more serious problem during pregnancy?
Most snoring during pregnancy is nothing to be concerned about, although it is worth discussing with your doctor if it is stopping you from getting quality sleep. It can be a sign of Gestational Diabetes, however. Most doctors screen for this condition between 24 and 26 weeks but if you are snoring a lot before then, it could be a sign that it has developed earlier than that.
Sleep Apnea is another condition linked to snoring, and it is worth investigating during pregnancy as it causes you to stop breathing for a short period of time, depriving you and, potentially, the baby of oxygen.
Snoring in the third trimester can also indicate pre-eclampsia, a very dangerous condition related to sudden high blood pressure, as well as Intrauterine Growth Restriction which can lead to low birth weight in babies and developmental delays.
Regular ultrasound scans and being completely open with your doctor about how you are feeling can help catch any of these potential issues in time for treatment.
- Snoring is common during pregnancy
- Hormones cause nasal congestion
- Snoring begins in the second trimester
- Excess weight aggravates snoring
I need a gentle, safe, effective solution to control my snoring. Help!
There are lots of options. Many pregnant women use an anti-snoring mouthpiece which is a completely safe, non-invasive, and effective method of controlling snoring. It works by moving the lower jaw slightly forward to allow for improved airflow thereby reducing snoring.
SnoreMeds mouthpieces have been designed for women and promise a comfortable fit and a good night’s sleep. Other ideas to try are a warm-mist humidifier in your bedroom which opens the airways, sleeping on your side rather than your back with your head slightly elevated, and avoiding eating heavy meals before bedtime. Obviously controlling your weight during pregnancy will also assist in preventing snoring.
As I am pregnant, I can’t take any medication to control my nasal congestion and it’s causing me to snore. Are there any natural remedies I can take?
Good old tea is a good treatment for nasal congestion when medication is out as it tackles congestion and the excess production of mucous.
The boiling water releases steam which is effective in relieving nasal congestion on inhalation while the soothing nature of the herbs can ease irritated nasal passages as well as thin mucous and improve the drainage – all exactly what’s needed to reduce snoring.
Although you’ll get all these benefits from drinking any kind of tea, peppermint tea is a great choice as mint is a natural decongestant. Add some honey to your cuppa to make it an even better snore-buster. It has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that relax the throat and help air to move freely, reducing snoring.
Choosing honey produced locally (in a radius of 15km or less of your home) can reduce hay fever. The pollens that cause the condition are processed by the bees to produce the golden liquid and therefore eating local honey is thought to reduce sensitivity to the allergens by building an immune tolerance.
Obviously, less hay fever leads to less snoring. Honey is safe during pregnancy, but not for babies under a year old.
- Honey is safe during pregnancy but not for babies
- Reduced weight stops snoring
- Exercise is good for you and your baby
- Drink plenty of water
Will I stop snoring after the baby is born?
It’s likely that you will, but how soon will depend on how much weight you gained during your pregnancy and how quickly you are able to lose it after your baby has arrived. The excess mucous and swelling of the nasal passages experienced during pregnancy should subside quickly improving your breathing and reducing snoring.