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Why Does Pregnancy Cause Snoring?

As if you are not already either crying at the drop of a hat or ready to unleash your fury on the next person to comment on your swollen ankles, now your significant other tells you that you're snoring. How dare they make up such a story to upset you!

snoring caused by pregnancyWell, before you react (if you haven't already) by saying something you will regret later (blame it on the hormones), you should know there is a good chance they are telling the truth.

Why Are You Snoring?

Approximately 25 percent of expectant mothers snore during their third trimester, and there are a number of reasons.

  • Weight Gain:  You may be all belly, but it is common for a bit of fat to cling to your neck. This puts pressure on your airway, so soft tissues are more likely to vibrate and cause a snoring sound. Plus, for your lungs to expand fully, your diaphragm needs to drop slightly with each breath, which isn't easy to do when you have a tiny human inside of you.
  • Increased Blood Volume:  When you are pregnant, your body has more blood. Plus, your blood vessels expand. This can swell nasal membranes, so you are more likely to breathe out of your mouth, which promotes snoring.
  • Swollen Nasal Passages:  If your blood vessels are not to blame, your high estrogen levels promote the production of mucus in the membrane lining in your nose. Again, the result is mouth-breathing.
  • Congestion:  Whether you are suffering from seasonal allergies or fighting a cold, you don't have the convenience of taking over-the-counter medications, so your nose, and possibly chest, is stuffy. As a result, you can't breathe through your nose.
  • Gestational Diabetes:  It is important to have your glucose screening test done because gestational diabetes becomes a concern around week 24 of the pregnancy and snoring can be an indicator.

Coping

The good news is you will probably stop snoring after you have given birth. It is important to understand that snoring stops your body from getting a good night of rest.

Wearing a mouthpiece designed for snoring can ensure you get the sleep you need to be healthy. You can also sleep on your side with a wedge pillow, stay hydrated, and make sure the air in your room is not dry so mucus membranes in your nose, throat, and soft palate stay moist.

Mark Walton
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