Snoring During Pregnancy: Why It Happens and How to Correct It

Written by Manny Erlich on September 20, 2012. Posted in Health Effects of Snoring, Snoring 101

Why Snoring or Sleep Apnea During Pregnancy Could Be a Problem for You and Your Baby

Entering the third and final trimester is an anxious time for most women and couples on the verge of having a child. There are many complications that could arise during pregnancy that normally wouldn’t occur. Snoring during pregnancy is a common problem that many women experience. Being aware of this issue may be helpful in taking proactive measures to stop snoring and ensure healthy sleep. The following results should be taken seriously as snoring can lead to possible dangerous health issues for both mother and child.

Mothers Who Snore: Sleep Study Discoveries

According to Australian researchers, women who begin snoring during pregnancy, especially in their final trimester, have an increased risk of having high blood pressure. High blood pressure in pregnant women is linked to restricted growth in babies or a reduction of blood flow through the placenta, causing oxygen deprivation. Doctor Colin Sullivan conducted a study where he documented the entire pregnancy cycle of 30 women. Doctor Sullivan found that by the 3rd trimester 50% of the women were snoring; for about 20% of the night. Six of the women were snoring for more than half the night.


A second Australian study, conducted by Doctor Alison Fung, found snoring and sleep apnea to be linked to reduced growth in babies. Sleep apnea is a critical condition not spurred by pregnancy, but rather is a condition that affects more than 20 million people. It can cause snoring, but it is a separate condition and health measures should be discussed with your practitioner.

Causes of Snoring During Pregnancy

Pregnant women are likely to snore because of an increase in their level of progesterone. The hormone progesterone can cause the airways to clog, as well as cause congestion in the nasal passages. As the baby grows, a pregnant women’s diaphragm tends to rise, reducing her lung capacity. The combination of additional swelling during the 3rd trimester of pregnancy and normal weight gain also plays a role, according to Doctor Fung.


Snoring during pregnancy may be prevented by sleeping on one’s side. Doctor Fung said that pregnant women lying on their sides enables faster breathing and prevents the airways from collapsing. An alternative is to use Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) Therapy to help keep the airways open and stop snoring. Visit our Snoring 101 article section [LINK] to learn about snoring remedies for expecting mothers, including homeopathic and natural remedies for snoring.

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Manny Erlich

International Foundation of Employee Benefits - Certified Employee Benefits Specialist