Snoring During Pregnancy – Causes, Symptoms and Preventions

6 min read

Written by Rathnavalli Pradeep

Rathnavalli Pradeep

Snoring During Pregnancy

Snoring in pregnancy is a common feature. It can be quite embarrassing as it disturbs the sleep of the mother and others as well. It is strange that even if the lady has never snored, she can do so in pregnancy since snoring is more common in men than women. Snoring starts in the initial stages of pregnancy, but many women only experience it when the belly starts growing. The complaint only starts in the last leg of pregnancy.

Snoring is sometimes oblivious to the pregnant lady unless the partner complains about it.  Studies reveal snoring by 70% of women with different frequencies. Hormones play a big role in pregnancy and result in many symptoms, snoring being one of them. It is not compulsory for all women to snore yet there are many reasons responsible for it. We would now study some postulates concerning snoring, its causes, cures etc.

In This Article

What Are the Causes of Snoring During Pregnancy?

Snoring is not common in all pregnancies. Yet research states many of them do experience snoring. Changes in the body result in snoring in pregnancy. Other reasons contributing to snoring during pregnancy include:

1. Nasal Congestion

The estrogen levels rise in pregnancy which leads to swelling of the mucus membrane near the nasal passage. This even increases the mucus production resulting in congestion in nasal activity, the end result of which is snoring. An increase in blood volume results in the expansion of blood vessels. This causes swelling in the nasal membranes leading to difficulty breathing.

2. Feeling of Tiredness

Relaxed throat muscles obstructs the airways resulting in vibrations while breathing.

3. Weight Gain

Weight gain, common during pregnancy, often compresses the airways, making breathing difficult, resulting in snoring.

3. Sleep Apnea

Snoring is the result of blocked airways and abruptly stopping breathing (for a split second) while asleep. The other symptoms are gasping noises and daytime sleepiness.

4. Colds And Allergies

All allergies like cold and flu result in snoring. Nasal congestion even makes breathing difficult.

5. Caffeinated Drinks

Consumption of beverages having caffeine can obstruct the airways resulting in snoring.

6. Blood Vessels and Blood Supply

The blood supply increases in the body of a pregnant lady during pregnancy. The blood vessels also expand resulting in swollen nasal membranes. This exerts pressure on the nostrils making it difficult to breathe. Breathing is easy during the daytime but becomes difficult when the lady sleeps and breathes from the mouth, leading to snoring.

[Read : Cold And Flu During Pregnancy]

When Does Snoring Generally Start During Pregnancy?

Snoring starts in the second trimester around the 16th week, a time when pregnancy hormones result in nasal congestion. The reason for snoring during pregnancy is the increase in pregnancy hormones.

Risk Associated With Snoring During Pregnancy

Risk With Snoring During Pregnancy

Snoring during pregnancy can be disturbing for the pregnant women and even risky for the developing baby. Few risks that are related to snoring in pregnancy are:

  • Studies reveal that ladies who snore during pregnancy are at greater risk of having small babies. They even have higher chances of having a caesarean delivery than a vaginal one. In case the pregnant lady is snoring more than thrice weekly, it is best to consult a doctor.
  • The swelling of blood vessels is the result of weight gain in pregnancy. It also restricts the blood flow to the placenta, thereby affecting the growth of the baby.
  • A glucose tolerance test helps in ruling out gestational diabetes. Diabetes can also result in snoring in pregnancy.
  • Snoring can even result in preeclampsia, which can be indicative of premature delivery and can be fatal as well.

Preventing Snoring During Pregnancy

pregnant women humidifier

Snoring no doubt is very disturbing and dangerous for the developing baby. The steps below help in preventing snoring during pregnancy.

1. Nasal Strips

The strips for snoring are readily available in medical stores and are easy to use as well. They are free of drugs and safe as well. Sticking on the nose is all it takes before going to sleep.

2. Humidifier

Using a humidifier in pregnancy is helpful when it is due to nasal congestion. The humidifiers are available online and even in the market. They come in different types depending on the duration. Having it for 8 hours duration or more can help sleep peacefully.

3. Sleep on Your Side

Sleeping sideways helps in pregnancy as sleeping straight is not possible. It is important to lie on the left side for proper blood circulation and peaceful sleep as well.

4. Head Elevation

Sleeping with head elevation and using two pillows allows proper airflow from the nose. This results in breathing easily and helps in minimising snoring.

5. Eating Right

In pregnancy, being overweight is not good. Less calorie intake helps in reducing snoring and staying healthy and fit.

6. Avoid Smoking

Smoking is not good during pregnancy and can cause serious issues with the baby and even trigger snoring.

7. Avoid Sleeping Pills

Avoid taking sleeping pills or sedatives during pregnancy.

[Read : 8 Amazing Benefits Of Walking During Pregnancy]

Remedies For Snoring During Pregnancy

pregnant women breathing

Snoring is troubling and disturbing for the mother and others as well. It can increase the irritation of the mother and make her restless. Following some remedies will help in a smooth pregnancy. Some of the common ones are:

  • Going for regular morning and evening walks to improve breathing.
  • Performing breathing exercises regularly.
  • Consuming two teaspoons of olive oil before sleeping helps to reduce snoring.
  • Instilling four drops of clarified butter in each nostril before sleeping. An effective remedy for snoring issues.
  • Using nasal strip to open the nasal passage. This helps in maintaining airflow while sleeping.
  • Nasal dilator strips are available that help open the nostrils for easy breathing. It comes in different designs as per the needs and preferences.
  • Anti-Snoring pillows are pocket friendly and offers comfort reducing snoring. They offer better support for the neck and enhance airflow to the lungs.
  • A simple remedy is a chin strap that is easy to wear and fits comfortably. It helps to push the jaw forward and makes breathing easier reducing snoring.

When to Consult a Doctor?

Snoring causes not much harm during pregnancy but does lead to severe complications. Snoring if accompanied by the symptoms listed is a cause of concern and should be immediately discussed with a doctor. Let your doctor know if you are consistently having the following symptoms.

  • Constant Headaches
  • Daytime Sleepiness
  • Swelling in the legs

All these symptoms can indicate preeclampsia and early diagnosis and medical intervention are very important. In case of preeclampsia, it is best to deliver the baby at any time the doctor suggests. It can be any number of weeks.

Thus, with proper guidance and consultation, snoring can be treated.

The delicate and exciting phase of a mother’s life needs extra care and no negligence. It is better to be safe than to be sorry.

Symptoms that appear again and again need the attention of the doctor. It is good to not hide and discuss everything on a prenatal visit. Snoring very trivial can end up with bigger issues.

[Read : Edema – Swollen Legs and Feet During Pregnancy]


1. Is Snoring a Bad Thing During Pregnancy?

Nasal congestion, excessive weight gain and swelling in the upper airway leads to snoring which is normal in pregnancy.

2. Can Snoring Hurt Baby?

As per research snoring does hurt the baby and results in poor delivery results and smaller babies.

3. What Position is Best to Stop Snoring?

Sleeping sideways helps in preventing snoring as it aids in reducing the compression of airways.

4. What to Drink to Stop Snoring?

Research suggests that drinking ginger and honey tea twice daily helps in reducing snoring.

Read Also: How To Use Pregnancy Pillow?

Rathnavalli Pradeep,BE in Computer Science from Bharathidasan university, Tirucharapalli.

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