Are You Experiencing Sleep Problems?
Whether you’re going through your very first pregnancy or about to have your fourth child, the ups and downs of this nine-month process can take a huge toll on your body, health, and emotions. One major change that pregnant women experience is a change in their sleep cycle.
It’s common to suffer from insomnia in the third trimester of your pregnancy because your daytime energy is completely controlled by the baby you’re carrying. However, if you or your partner notice sleep troubles early on in your first trimester, it may be a sign of a serious condition like sleep apnea.
During the first trimester, women’s sleep quality is much higher and this is the time when they should be sleeping the most. If you’re early in your pregnancy and already experiencing severe daytime fatigue or your partner says you snore and sometimes choke in the middle of the night, it’s best to receive a sleep study to diagnose your possible disorder.
Sleep Apnea Can Harm You & Your Baby
Sleep apnea is a life-threatening sleep disorder that can lead to major health risks such as heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes, and kidney failure. However, this serious condition doesn’t only affect the sufferer, but it can affect a pregnant woman’s newborn as well.
Major health risk factors that pregnant women with sleep apnea may experience include:
- Gestational diabetes — an increased level of glucose in the blood
- Preeclampsia — high blood pressure during pregnancy, sometimes with fluid retention and proteinuria
- Lower blood-oxygen levels
- Maternal obesity
- Increased risk of needing a cesarean section
- Pulmonary edema — excess fluid in the lungs
- Increased risk of the newborn needing to be admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit
Before your sleep apnea harms you and your baby, it’s best to seek a proper diagnosis through a sleep study provided by a board-certified sleep physician. Here at our Burlington and Oakville offices, Dr. Ralhan can refer you to a specialist so they can administer a sleep study.
Learn About the Different Solutions
Once officially diagnosed with sleep apnea, your sleep doctor will most likely first prescribe you a CPAP mask to relieve your snoring and sleep apnea symptoms. A CPAP mask is worn over your face and continuously blows air through your lungs all night so it can clear the obstruction in your throat that’s generating your sleep issues.
Sleeping comfortably with your new baby bump is already a bit challenging. So, when you have to also wear a mask all night long, many moms find it nearly impossible to sleep soundly. Luckily, there are alternatives to CPAP, including an oral appliance.
An oral appliance looks similar to a small sports mouthguard and fits firmly to your teeth. It works to gently move your jaw forward at night, clearing the obstruction in your throat and allowing you to sleep comfortably without any interruptions.
Dr. Ralhan may also suggest positional therapy, lifestyle changes, or throat and breathing exercises to help diminish your symptoms. He’ll be happy to explain these easy alternatives to you during your consultation at our Burlington or Oakville, Ontario dental offices.