What is Gestational Sleep Apnea?

What is Gestational Sleep Apnea?

Pregnancy can really take its toll on the body. From gestational diabetes to pregnancy gingivitis, there are many conditions that spring up during pregnancy that affect both mother and baby, but thankfully usually go away post-birth. One such condition is a lesser-known condition called gestational sleep apnea. While it is unclear what causes gestational sleep apnea, doctors believe it may be a combination of weight gain and hormones. Unfortunately, while gestational sleep apnea can clear up on its own postpartum, it is still important to treat during pregnancy. Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the patient struggles to breathe during sleep due to a collapsed windpipe. This causes snoring and gasping for breath throughout the night. It can cause frequent waking, resulting in lethargy, cognitive impairment, and depression during the day. It can also cause low birth rates in babies. While there is no cure for sleep apnea, gestational or otherwise, there are many solutions available. The most prescribed therapy is CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) therapy, however many who go on CPAP therapy do not like it. As a result, many simply don’t use their CPAP machine at all. These machines use forced air to prop the airway open as you sleep. They fit onto the face using a mask that many people find uncomfortable or awkward. Fortunately, CPAP is not the only therapy option for treating obstructive sleep apnea. Dr. Peterson has a solution for those who simply do not like CPAP therapy: a mandibular orthotic device that fits comfortably into the mouth. These devices are custom-molded to fit your individual mouth. They position the mouth in such a way that the airway is propped open naturally, without the use of CPAP therapy. These devices offer the solution you want to a very complex problem. If you do have gestational sleep apnea, speak to your doctor about which treatment options are best for you. Then speak to Dr. Peterson about a mandibular orthotic device. Remember, gestational sleep apnea may very likely go away postpartum, however, it is still important to address during pregnancy. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Peterson, please contact the office today.

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