Snoring when pregnant: Causes, Risks & Treatment

Jan 02, 2023 by Adhip

Even if you have never snored before, it is fairly common to start during pregnancy. Pregnant women often snore, and about 3 times more of them will start snoring by the third trimester when pregnant. This is usually a temporary habit but there are ways you can prevent it or lessen the effects.

Causes of snoring when pregnant?

The British Snoring and Sleep Apnoea Association reported that around 23% of pregnant women snore, which is mainly attributed to hormones and weight gain.

1. Elevated levels of pregnancy hormones

Changes in hormone levels cause blood vessels to dilate & membranes to swell, which can lead to nasal congestion and a narrowing of your nasal passages. As a result, there’s an increased chance you’ll have difficulty breathing through your nose while you sleep – leading you to use your mouth more frequently and most likely snore as well.

2. Excessive weight

You may also be snoring because you have gained excess weight during pregnancy, which has resulted in too much tissue around your head and neck.

3. Sleep Apnea

As a woman’s body changes during pregnancy, she might experience a variety of symptoms. Some less common side effects are snoring and- in severe cases- obstructive sleep apnea, which can be by complications at birth.

There is research linking sleep apnea to higher blood pressure and preeclampsia, which have a sudden rise in blood pressure during pregnancy.

Complications of Snoring during pregnant period

According to US scientists, chronic snoring can be a sign of breathing problems. If you find yourself regularly snoring before and during your pregnancy, it may be a sign of CO2 retention that affects your supply of oxygen to the baby. Chronic snoring refers to women who regularly and loudly snore both before they become pregnant and during their pregnancy.

Untreated sleep apnea during pregnancy may deprive you and your baby of oxygen and increase the risk of various health conditions.

Treatment of snoring when pregnant

Tell your doctor about any or all of these symptoms if you’re experiencing them, and get a referral to an ENT specialist if you’ve noticed a change in the way your partner tells you that you’re snoring.

If you have sleep apnea, your doctor will provide consultations to help you find the right weight management plan so that you can better manage your condition. Statistics have shown that maintaining a healthy weight is one of the most important factors for minimizing health risks with sleep apnea.

He or she may also recommend going to a sleep lab for an overnight study. This can help diagnose any breathing problems you might be having. In some cases, the doctor might even recommend using a CPAP machine at night.

Snoring when pregnant can also be caused by gestational diabetes. Make sure to get your glucose screening test during weeks 24-28 (or earlier if your practitioner suggests).

Prevention of snoring during pregnancy?

The following tips can help you stop snoring during pregnancy:

  • Wash your feet before bed in warm water can help you get good sleep.
  • Wear a nasal strip before bed
  • Use a warm-mist humidifier at night to provide better breathing quality for a good night’s sleep.
  • Put the pillows under your head, neck, and shoulders to make yourself sleep better.
  • The extra weight gained during pregnancy can contribute to snoring, so keeping your calorie intake under control is important


If you are tired all the time, sometimes it’s because you’re snoring so loudly. It could also be that your partner has woken you up with your snoring in the middle of the night.

Whatever the case may be, know that you are snoring and talk to your doctor about it. You may just have a standard pregnancy disorder. It should be noted though that snoring can sometimes be a sign of a serious medical condition when pregnant. Therefore it is worth looking into.

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