Some women have never snored until they became pregnant.
It feels weird, certainly embarrassing and definitely
not like you to snore, especially when you have never
snored before in your whole life. So why now, you
wonder! Pregnancy brings many changes to your respiratory
system which affects sleep and also causes you to
• Up to 25-30% of pregnant women snore (so you
are not alone!).
• Hormones like oestrogen and progesterone increase
remarkably during pregnancy giving rise to snoring.
• Anybody can be a candidate for mild to severe
snoring during any part of their pregnancy.
• The increase in blood volume is also responsible
for nasal congestion as it causes the blood vessels
to expand. This expansion in the nasal area causes
the mucus membrane to expand as well.
• It is more common during the second half of
the pregnancy and even more pronounced during the
• During pregnancy the nasal passages swell
and become congested. The upper airway narrows and
makes you more prone to snoring.
Some things that you can practice to prevent
or reduce snoring include:
• Sleep on your side rather than your back.
Sleeping on your back can block your airway (in any
case you should be sleeping on your sides now that
you are pregnant!).
• Prop up your head with extra pillows; sleeping
in elevated positions will help keep your airways
• Keep your weight in check. Overweight women
are in particular at higher risk of developing snoring-related
problems. Studies indicate that women who were regularly
snoring during pregnancy had weight issues prior to
becoming pregnant and ended up gaining more weight
than the desired level during pregnancy.
• Try using nasal strips and tape it to the
bridge of your nose to help increase the area of your
nasal passages and airways.
• Cut back on caffeine to zero as it narrows
down the airways and can cause you to snore more.
On a more serious note
snoring can have not too pleasant repercussions.
• Snoring can be related to hypertension.
• Women who snore during pregnancy are at increased
risk of having pregnancy induced high BP or preeclampsia.
• Snoring during pregnancy also increases the
risk of slowed fetal growth, low birth weight babies
and babies with lower apgar scores.
• Snoring can also be a sign of sleep apnea
or sleep disorder where the breathing ceases for short
intervals during sleep. This causes lack of oxygen
to disrupt the mother's sleep and stress the fetus.
It can keep the mother from feeling rested and on
a more dangerous level, cause heart and BP complications.
When to seek help
• If you experience loud snoring, if your snoring
wakes you up frequently or if your partner feels that
your snoring is interrupted by periods of stopped
breathing, contact your care provider. Alerting your
doctor will ensure you and your unborn baby get the
• Because of poor sleep quality in the nights, most
women with this problem tend to feel very lethargic
and sleepy in the day. These signs are indicative
of obstructive sleep apnea.
• Appropriate treatment will be recommended which
will help improve sleep, prevent snoring and apnea
and to an extent improve your BP problems.