Women who otherwise have never snored often begin snoring during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester. The cause is associated with pregnancy hormones relaxing the muscles in the mouth and the mucous membrane in the nose, resulting in vibrations that cause snoring sounds.
Gaining weight, which is a natural byproduct of carrying a fetus, also contributes to the suddenly emerging snoring problem, so it’s important not to pack on unneeded pounds. In general, weight often becomes a factor in snoring because it makes the soft palate flabbier and thus more prone to vibrations from air passage, which in turn can cause snoring episodes.
Another cause for snoring associated with pregnancy arises because the amount of blood in the pregnant woman naturally rises, which can lead to swollen nasal membranes.
Given these added causes for snoring, pregnant women should also try to avoid catching cold and never leave allergies untreated. Both colds and allergies can induce and intensify snoring.
Obviously, if pregnancy is the only cause for one’s snoring, then it’s only a temporary problem, but in the interim there are steps the sufferer can take.
First, don’t sleep on your back, but on your side (this applies to anyone who snores, not just those who are pregnant). Second, avoid alcohol, tobacco and sleeping pills, which of course you should do for the sake of your fetus as well. Third, as mentioned above, try not to gain excess weight above what you need to support you and your child naturally.
In any case of snoring, it’s important to be watchful that it’s not a chronic condition (in this case, lasting beyond the pregnancy and weight gain, for instance). If it is chronic, snoring can lead to various health problems, including hypertension and other threats to the cardiovascular system. If you do have a chronic snoring problem, it’s vital to seek the diagnosis and advice of a sleep professional, such as those found at The Snoring Center.