Protect Your Child’s Health
Carrying a child is a heavy burden for expecting mothers, but those who suffer from sleep apnea are faced with even greater challenges.
With over three decades of experience as a dentist, Dr. Ura is a sleep specialist who provides customized, convenient oral appliances to treat our patients’ sleep apnea. If you’re an expectant mother who struggles with this disorder, check out this guide to learn how to ensure your child’s wellbeing.
Sleep Apnea, Snoring & Pregnancy
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition that interferes with your ability to breathe during sleep, causing the muscles in the back of your throat to relax and block your airway.
The leading symptom of sleep apnea is loud and frequent snoring, though not everyone who snores suffers from this disorder. An evident display of sleep apnea is a person seeming to be choking or gasping for air while asleep.
The Signs & Symptoms of Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy
Common signs of sleep apnea in pregnant women include:
- Persistent headaches
- Dry mouth
- Frequent nighttime urination
- Heartburn overnight
- Excessively sleepy during the day
Some of these symptoms may be a result of pregnancy, and for this reason many expectant mothers with sleep apnea go undiagnosed. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms, Dr. Ura advises that you take cautious measures and schedule a consultation. Dr. Ura will work closely with a sleep physician to determine your ideal sleep apnea treatment and ensure the best possible results.
How Sleep Apnea Affects Your Unborn Child
Sleep apnea is a serious medical condition that requires professional attention. In the absence of treatment, it can lead to diabetes, heart disease, and unplanned Cesarean sections. Pregnant women with sleep apnea may also experience prolonged labor and fetal growth restrictions.
An additional complication of sleep apnea during pregnancy is obesity hypoventilation syndrome (OHS). This occurs when an overweight person fails to breathe sufficiently, causing blood carbon dioxide levels to rise and blood sugar levels to drop. This fluctuation can be harmful to both your health and your unborn child.
Treating Pregnancy-Related Sleep Apnea
It’s crucial to identify and treat sleep apnea at the first sign of restlessness. The initial and most common treatment prescribed is a CPAP machine, though many patients complain that it’s noisy, uncomfortable, and difficult to use.
Dr. Ura offers a convenient alternative to CPAP — customized oral appliances. This alternative allows you to breathe freely through the night by shifting your lower jaw forward, preventing your tongue and soft oral tissue from obstructing your airway.
Unlike CPAP, oral appliances are custom-made and designed with your comfort in mind. It’s small, quiet, easy to wear, and doesn’t require a power source. You have the freedom to sleep in any position and finally enjoy a better night’s sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use CPAP during pregnancy?
Women with pre-existing OSA who have been prescribed CPAP should continue using it. CPAP may need to be readjusted around the 24 weeks of pregnancy due to nasal congestion and an increased BMI.
Women who have yet to be diagnosed with OSA should seek diagnosis and treatment right away. Seeking treatment can help prevent any possible health consequences to both themselves and their unborn child. Call our Nashua office at (603) 237-1124 to get started on your treatment.
Can lack of sleep hurt my baby?
Poor sleep quality can affect a developing fetus. An insufficient amount of sleep may reduce the amount of growth hormone released leading to growth or development problems for your unborn baby.
If you believe your lack of sleep can be sleep apnea, contact our Nashua office at (603) 237-1124. Dr. Ura can assess your health and provide you with a proper diagnosis with the help of a sleep study.
What is a sleep test?
A sleep test is a comprehensive test to diagnose sleep disorders. While you sleep, the test monitors and records your brain waves, heart rate, breathing, and your sleeping habits. After the test, your doctor will make a diagnosis and from there, Dr. Ura will determine your treatment.
Will sleep apnea ever go away after pregnancy?
If you have sleep apnea before pregnancy, it’s unlikely that sleep apnea will go away unless you seek professional treatment. However, it’s important to note that one of the causes of sleep apnea is weight gain. If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea during pregnancy, it can be from pregnancy weight gain.
After you have delivered your baby, your sleep apnea symptoms may go away. Research shows that weight loss will help sleep apnea symptoms subside.
Visit Dr. Ura for Sleep Apnea Treatment
At the Center for Dental Sleep Health, we recognize the impact of sleep apnea on pregnant women and understand every patient is unique. Dr. Ura can provide a comfortable, modern alternative treatment with oral appliances. Call our Nashua office today at (603) 237-1124 to get started on your treatment. You can also fill out our online contact form below and one of our staff will get back to you promptly.