What Causes Snoring During Pregnancy and What Can You Do About It?

Last updated: September 7th, 2023

Snoring During Pregnancy

It is normal for pregnant women to experience snoring during their late stages of pregnancy, since nearly half of all women experience snoring during this time. But what causes this type of snoring and will it go away after the baby is born? Snoring during pregnancy is linked to many factors, from gaining weight, fluid retention, and changes in hormone levels.

Weight Gain

Weight gain is one factor that contributes to snoring during pregnancy. As the woman gains weight, fat deposits can narrow her airway which can block the passage of air as she breathes. This can cause the air to vibrate off of the soft tissue in the neck and cause the noise of snoring.

While it is normal to gain some weight during pregnancy, it is important to watch the amount to make sure that it is a safe weight gain. If you gain too much, you may experience snoring until the delivery. Depending on the amount of weight gain, the snoring may completely go away after delivery, or even become worse.

Fluid Retention

Another factor that can lead to snoring during pregnancy is fluid retention. Swelling of the hands, legs, feet, and even face is common because of increased blood and fluid production for the baby. This can cause an expansion of the body tissues in the throat area and can block the airflow when sleeping which can lead to snoring.

Hormone Changes

The changing hormones during pregnancy also can have an impact on the body, including snoring. Hormones such as HCG, progesterone, estrogen, and relaxin can cause inflammation and other side effects which in turn can contribute to the problem of snoring.

Gestational Diabetes

In some cases, pregnant snoring and gestational diabetes may be linked. If there is an inadequate airflow and oxygen due to blocked airways, this can activate the sympathetic nervous system and cause the blood pressure to rise at night. If a woman already snores before pregnancy, the risk of developing gestational diabetes is higher. Even if a woman does not snore before she is pregnant, it is possible for gestational diabetes to develop which can then lead to snoring.

Sleep Apnea

Sleep apnea is a disorder that is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep. This is usually followed by very loud snores as the body attempts to unblock the obstruction and resume normal breathing. Sleep apnea can develop for many reasons, such as weight gain, enlarged tonsils, allergies, and large tonsils or adenoids. If this is suspected, it is important to consult a physician.

After Delivery

When it comes to pregnant snoring, it can depend on the individual woman, her body type, amount of weight gain, and the number of pregnancies she has had. It is possible that after the delivery, the snoring may go away, or continue for a while. Consulting a physician or receiving professional help can help to reduce or eliminate snoring.

When pregnant, it is important to maintain a healthy weight gain and speak with a doctor about getting additional sleep. Women should also watch for changes in hormone levels, fluid retention and gestational diabetes, which are all potential factors contributing to pregnant snoring.

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