Women need to take extra special care of themselves, especially when they’re pregnant. Medical aids in South Africa do provide pediatric cover, but it’s moms’ responsibility first to ensure that they do as much as possible to have healthy pregnancies and deliver healthy babies. One common health disturbance that can have devastating effects babies is sleep apnoea, especially in obese women.
What is sleep apnoea?
Imagine being fast asleep and you suddenly stop breathing – that’s sleep apnoea. The cessation can be caused by airways that are blocked, especially when body weight bears down on those airways. Sleep apnoea is very common in obese patients. It can cause oxygen deprivation to the blood and brain, which is not only dangerous for pregnant moms, but also for unborn babies who rely on their mothers for nutrients and oxygen.
Sleep apnoea, obesity, and pregnancy
Not only does obesity cause a whole range of health problems (especially for pregnant women), but the sleep apnoea correlates with many other complications such as hypertension, diabetes, and circulation issues. In a study performed on 175 obese pregnant women, 42% of the women who experienced sleep apnoea and other sleep disturbances also developed pre-eclampsia; with 65% of the obese moms needing to deliver via C-section. These numbers were more than 50% higher than the mothers who didn’t suffer from sleep apnoea.
With such a close correlation, it’s important that obese mothers-to-be receive the right screenings for pregnancy complications so that the appropriate treatment can be administered early. It’s also important that doctors work together with their obese patients to tackle their obesity, which will lower their risk of other complications and ensure a much healthier pregnancy for both them and their babies.
visual courtesy of: bodyandsoul.com/ napavalleysleepsolutions.com