Alaska Sleep Education Center

Treating OSA During Pregnancy Could Improve Fetal Health

Posted by Jennifer Christensen on Aug 21, 2013 10:52:00 AM


For most women pregnancy is a time of expectant joy and life changes. A recent study found that treating even mild levels of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) could improve the fetus’s health.

The study found that the use of a CPAP treatment in women with preeclampsia and mild OSA increased fetal movements, which is a sign of fetus well being. One of the research’s, Colin Sullivan, Ph.D., believes that “what would otherwise have been considered clinically unimportant or minor ‘snoring’ likely has effects on the blood supply of the fetus, and that fetus in turn protects itself by reducing movements.”

How can you tell if you might have OSA?

  • Ask you partner if they have noticed your breathing habits. Are you snoring more or is your snoring getting louder?
  • Do you making periodic snorting or gasping sounds in your sleep?
  • Do you frequently have to use the bathroom at night?

 Who is at risk for OSA during pregnancy?

  • Women in the last trimester of their pregnancy
  • Women struggling with excessive weight gain or obesity during pregnancy
  • Women who have been diagnosed with preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)

If you or your partner are concerned about your sleeping patterns it is important to be evaluated by a Board Certified Sleep Specialist who may do a sleep study called a polysomnogram. 

Topics: CPAP success, CPAP Masks, alaska sleep clinic

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