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Snoring in Pregnancy: Causes and Risks


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If you had a habit of snoring before you were pregnant, experiencing the same in your pregnancy term might not seem different. But what if you didn’t snore before? What triggered the onset of snoring during your pregnancy?

Before you panic or get anxious about this symptom, let us clarify that it’s normal. Several pregnant women experience snoring during their pregnancy. Although not fatal, snoring often disrupts the quality of sleep, leaving an expecting mother irritated and cranky throughout the day.

This article will explore everything about snoring in pregnancy and why you are likely experiencing it out of the blue.

What are the Causes of Snoring in Pregnancy?

Both physiological and environmental factors can contribute to the onset of snoring. It could be a sign of obstructed airways, or it could be a sign of dry weather in the surroundings. However, the causes aren’t as simple as you expect them to be.

Here’s a quick breakdown of all the possible reasons:

History of snoring – if you have a habit of snoring, the same will also extend into your pregnancy.

Hormonal imbalance – the combination of estrogen and progesterone imposes direct changes on the airways, potentially leading to snoring. Besides snoring, the hormonal imbalance also triggers the risks of sleep apnea.

Weight gain – excessive weight gain during pregnancy often leads to risks of obstructive sleep apnea in the expectant mother, especially during the third trimester.

Environmental factors – dry air or allergens in the air often lead to irritation and blockages in the airways, which could potentially trigger the onset of snoring during pregnancy. Second-hand smoking might also trigger the risk of snoring.

Genetic predisposition – studies have found that certain races and ethnicities of pregnant women are at risk of snoring during their pregnancy. This includes African-American women in the foreground.

Does Snoring in Pregnancy Indicate an Underlying Concern?

Pregnancy introduces many changes to the body, both physically and mentally. When it comes to evaluating the impacts of snoring during pregnancy, you need to understand that the issue could be a direct consequence of weight gain and environmental factors.

There is some research that indicates possible complications of snoring in pregnancy, including elevated concerns of hypertension, pre-term birth, or gestational diabetes.

Typically, snoring doesn’t necessarily indicate sleep apnea or an early sign of preeclampsia all the time. So, how do you distinguish whether the symptoms are normal or concerning?

Possibility of Risks Symptoms to Look out for
Sleep apnea -Dry mouth

-Gasping for air

-Waking up frequently

-Sudden pauses during breathing

Preeclampsia -Rapid weight gain


-Shortness of breath

-Blurry vision


Gestational diabetes -Increased thirst

-Frequent urination


Perinatal depression -Trouble sleeping

-Frequent crying and sadness

-Changes in appetite

-Increased anxiety


-Trouble feeling connected to the baby


If you notice these associated symptoms alongside snoring, that could be a sign of an underlying and undiagnosed condition. It is always better to seek medical advice for peace of mind.

Does Snoring Affect the Pregnancy?

Snoring isn’t always fatal or damaging to the mother or the baby during pregnancy. When you ask your doctor, “Is snoring common during pregnancy?” they are more likely to nod their head in affirmation.

However, the situation might be of concern if the snoring is accompanied by a series of additional symptoms, as mentioned in the table above.

If it’s disrupting your sleep or making you feel different and uncomfortable physically, it could be indicative of an underlying and undiagnosed condition.

In very rare cases, women who snore during their pregnancy might develop risks of obstructive sleep apnea, which might lead to risks of gestational diabetes and preeclampsia. However, it isn’t the case with every pregnant woman.

How to Prevent the Risks of Snoring during Pregnancy?

Although not damaging (in most cases), snoring can disrupt a pregnant woman’s sleep cycle, preventing them from getting the optimal amount of sleep they need to function throughout the day.

Lack of quality sleep might reflect on the energy levels that the person has in them. So, your best bet to ensure a healthy and comfortable pregnancy is to find and implement ways to prevent snoring during pregnancy.

Let us walk you through some natural remedies for snoring in pregnancy:

Change the sleeping position

Snoring in pregnancy has connections with obstructive sleep apnea. So, your sleeping position influences your intensity of snoring. If your snoring is getting worse when sleeping on your back, switch to sleeping on the side.

Sometimes, elevating your head using multiple pillows for extra support can prevent obstructions in the airways and allow a comfortable sleeping experience.

Use a humidifier

If the snoring is triggered by environmental factors like dry air, etc., it is ideal to install a humidifier in the room. Both varieties of warm mist and cool mist work effortlessly.

Also, the humidifier adds moisture to the air, allowing you to breathe in freely and comfortably through the night without snoring. This is one of the best ways how to stop snoring in pregnancy.

Focus on your diet

A weight gain of 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy is deemed normal. However, if you are experiencing a steep weight gain throughout the pregnancy, it is ideal to check your diet.

Adjusting the calorie intake during the second and third trimesters is ideal. But, ensure that you discuss your options with your OBGYN before making any drastic changes to the diet.

Stay away from smoke

Second-hand smoking is one of the most common triggers of snoring during pregnancy. It constricts the airways, making it difficult to breathe. The smoke also irritates the airways, leading to snoring and other associated complications.

Adhering to these preventive methods ensures the quality of sleep throughout the night. Always aim for 8-9 hours of sound sleep for optimal health of the mother and the baby.


Is snoring a serious health problem?

Snoring might indicate an underlying concern, but it isn’t a definitive sign of any complications. Your doctor needs to assess the accessory symptoms to analyze the potential risks and reach a conclusion.

Can snoring cause death?

Snoring might be a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, which, if not managed, might lead to risks of blocked airways and possible fatalities.

When does snoring start in pregnancy?

If you don’t have a history of snoring before pregnancy, chances are that the snoring might start during the second or third trimester.


Often, people who snore aren’t aware of it until someone else tells them about it. If your partner suggests that you are snoring during your pregnancy term, it is ideal to look out for any additional symptoms that could be concerning. If the situation is becoming disruptive and affecting your quality of life, it’s ideal to discuss the issues with your doctor.

Somapika Dutta (B.Sc Physiology, Honours)
Somapikar holds Bachelors Degree in Physiology from University of Culcutta. She has 6+ years of experience writing in different niches, including health, tech and lifestyle. An animal enthusiast and a raging foodie, experiencing life - one day at a time.


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