During pregnancy, the body goes through many changes. But some couples (or expectant moms) notice that snoring can end up being one of the not-so-pleasurable ones.
Maybe you have never snored before in your life, and are now suddenly ‘sawing wood’ when the time comes to hit the hay. Or maybe you used to snore quietly, and now sound like a semi-truck when you finally pass out.
Either way, rest assured that snoring during pregnancy is pretty normal. Nobody is for sure exactly how widespread this problem is, but pregnant mothers do tend to snore more during pregnancy than they do when they are not pregnant—and there are many reasons for it.
Here is what you need to know.
Your Nasal Passages May Be Swollen
As you probably already know, some swelling is unavoidable when you are pregnant. This can happen to all kinds of different parts of the body—but the nasal passages can sometimes be an unlikely victim of this swelling as well. And if this happens, you can probably count on suffering from not only some extra snoring, but also some extra mucus production.
Unfortunately for pregnant mothers who would rather not snore, the body produces more blood than usual during pregnancy. This means that the blood vessels expand a bit, which explains why the mucus membranes swell.
You are also sometimes more sensitive to colds and allergies while expecting, and this can also play a part.
Mothers Gain Weight During Pregnancy
Hopefully, if everything is going well, you will gain some weight at some point over the course of your pregnancy experience. This is good. You do, after all, have another human growing inside of you!
But this is also not necessarily always easy on your quality of rest. As you gain weight, fatty tissue around the neck tends to increase—which decreases the room in your airway. This is actually pretty common during pregnancy, and the prognosis is usually an increase in soft-palate vibration.
So yeah. That is the most common cause of snoring, and pregnant mothers often have to deal with it until they lose their baby weight.
This can also lead to obstructive sleep apnea in some cases, which is basically the same thing as snoring—except that it is a lot worse. Sometimes, the airway can become completely obstructed by its own soft tissue during sleep, which will result in the person waking up and gasping for air as the brain registers that no oxygen is coming in.
The bad part is that this tends to disrupt sleep without the sleeping person realizing it, which can quickly lead to sleep deprivation.
If you are a pregnant mother and think that you might be suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, then it is very important to talk to your doctor about it, as this is a pretty dangerous problem. Mothers need their sleep, and the baby needs the mother to sleep good as well!
What Can You Do About Snoring When You Are Pregnant?
If you are pregnant and suffering from a snoring problem, please try not to let it stress you out too much. Yes, it can be annoying and troublesome. But there are also a number of things that you can do to help yourself or your partner.
First, you absolutely want to avoid alcohol, tobacco, or sleeping pills. Granted, you are probably not going to be partaking of alcohol while pregnant anyway, but tobacco and sleeping pills should also be on your ‘do not use’ list. All three of these substances can increase your odds of suffering from a snoring problem—so cutting them out of your diet completely can do a lot to help you.
Second, you can try not to gain more weight than is recommended by your doctor. The heavier you are before you get pregnant, and the more weight you gain during the pregnancy, the higher the risk of snoring. So if at all possible, try to keep your weight gain within your doctor’s parameters by eating healthy and making conscious, intentional choices about diet and exercise while expecting.
And finally, you might want to consider sleeping with a body pillow, using a stop-snoring pillow, or even using some kind of stop-snoring device, like an MAD, a TSD, or nasal strips. Sometimes, these products can do wonders to help alleviate the problem… and a body pillow might be a great way to take pressure off of your abdomen and/or back anyway.
Talking To Your Partner About Snoring
Snoring is a big deal because it can affect your quality of sleep. And you probably know how important sleep is when you are expecting.
But snoring can also be a source of contention in any relationship, because when you are expecting (or caring for) a new child, you are already going to be stressed. Adding the inability to sleep because of snoring to this can add even more stress to the mix, and all of this can be tough to deal with at the same time.
So if snoring is a source of stress for you and/or your partner, it is important to talk about it with one-another. Discuss it calmly, and with a caring attitude, to try to figure out a solution that works for both of you. After all, nobody wants to snore, and at the end of the day, if you can get the issue talked about and resolved, that is all that really matters. It will save you a lot of trouble and worry, and will do wonders for your relationship—especially with the ‘big changes’ taking place just around the corner!