Question: I’m 21 weeks along, and my boyfriend told me that I’ve been snoring lately…but I’d never snored before. Is this something I should be worried about?
Answer: Snoring can definitely upset a good night’s sleep! Your snoring may just be because of normal pregnancy stuffiness. So, try sleeping with a humidifier on and keep your head well-elevated.
About 1/3 of pregnant women snore, even if they didn’t before getting pregnant. While snoring might just seem annoying, it can put you at risk for complications, like slowed fetal growth.
Snoring could also be a sign of sleep apnea, where breathing stops briefly during sleep (which temporarily reduces the amount of oxygen that’s taken in.) Since a constant flow of oxygen is especially important when you’re breathing for two, it’s a good idea for pregnant women who snore to be monitored for sleep apnea. Extra weight can contribute to snoring and sleep apnea, so make sure you aren’t gaining too much.
Unfortunate side effects of pregnancy like weight gain, hormonal changes, and fluid retention give you a higher risk for both sleep apnea and snoring. If you’re not sure you have sleep apnea, a major sign is daytime sleepiness. Both snoring and sleep apnea will keep waking you up from a deep sleep, leaving you exhausted.
Make sure to ask your OB-GYN about sleep apnea at your next visit.