Q&A: What’s with snoring during pregnancy?

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Don’t be alarmed – even if you’ve never been a snorer, pregnancy can bring out the nighttime freight train in all of us.

I have never been a snorer but my fiance says that I’ve started snoring (I’m 24 weeks). I’m mortified. Is this normal?

Jackie, Mum's Grapevine group member

Yep, it’s normal and really common. About one in three pregnant women will start snoring in pregnancy, even if they have never snored before. It’s another delightful hormone-induced second-trimester pregnancy symptom.

If you’re in your second trimester you’ve probably noticed your nose getting stuffy. Because your immune system has become suppressed so that your body doesn’t reject your bub as a foreign object, it’s much easier to pick up a cold or get a stuffy nose. Nasal congestion = snoring.

What’s the cause of pregnancy snoring?

It can be a bunch of reasons, but the most common cause is the rise in pregnancy hormones which trigger the mucous membranes in the nose to swell. This leads to congestion, which gets worse when you lay down – hence the snoring. The weight we gain during pregnancy can also be a cause.

Sources: What To Expect, University of Michigan

Help – I need to stop snoring!

It’s tough to get a good night’s sleep when you’re growing a bub, so throw snoring into the mix and we’re in all sorts of no-sleep hell. Have a chat to your doctor if it’s really causing you issues, and it’s also worth mentioning as snoring can be a sign of gestational diabetes. Another reason to mention it to your care provider is to rule out sleep apnea, which can stop your bub getting oxygen.

If your doc has ruled out anything serious, you can try these things to see if it help your snoring:

  • Prop up your pillows or use an extra one so that your head is higher than your body.
  • Use a warm-mist humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep.
  • Sleep on your side (left is recommended in pregnancy)

Rest assured that for most mummas, the snoring stops once baby arrives. And no, that’s not just because you won’t be sleeping.

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