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What Is Gestational Sleep Apnea?

Dr Martin Abelar - October 20, 2022 - 0 comments

Meta: What is gestational sleep apnea, and what can you do to treat it?

Pregnancy is often a time of great excitement and hope for the future. But while some mothers experience smooth, “easy” pregnancies, others are not so lucky.  Pregnancy can be very hard on the mother’s body.  It can also cause medical complications that affect both the mother and baby. Enter gestational sleep apnea.  

Gestational sleep apnea is sleep apnea that occurs or is brought on by pregnancy. Gestational sleep apnea can occur in women who have already been diagnosed with sleep apnea prior to pregnancy, or it can develop with pregnancy, often worsening as the pregnancy advances.

Worse yet, gestational sleep apnea can cause complications to not just the mother (including an increased risk of depression, cognitive impairment, hypertension, and diabetes) it can also cause complications to the baby as well, including low birth weight.

Risk factors for gestational sleep apnea include already having sleep apnea, high BMI, snoring, hypertension, and advanced maternal age.

While having gestational sleep apnea may even seem harmless to some, it is very serious and should be treated. While most people are prescribed CPAP therapy (continuous positive airway pressure) patients may benefit from a mandibular orthotic sleep device, such as the devices available from Dr. Abelar.

Mandibular devices are custom molded to fit your individual mouth, and prop the airway open naturally, without the use of masks, machines, tubing, and forced air. These devices are generally considered more comfortable than CPAP, and as such are more likely to be used by the patient, making them more effective than CPAP.

If you are pregnant and your partner has noticed you snore, snore more frequently or louder, gasp or choke for air, or if you find yourself waking repeatedly through the night, please speak to Dr. Abelar about a sleep study. Once you have a sleep apnea diagnosis, Dr. Abelar is here to help with a prescription sleep device custom-made for your mouth.

If you are concerned about your sleep, please contact Dr. Abelar, or speak to your physician or OB/GYN about undergoing sleep testing. If you are interested in learning more about the mandibular orthotic devices available from Dr. Abelar, please contact the office and schedule a consultation today.

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