Maternal sleep apnea in expecting mother can increase the risk of birth defects and resuscitation.
If a woman is chronically suffering from disrupted sleep during her pregnancy, then her newborn is at higher risk of birth defects and resuscitation at birth. Resuscitation is an intervention to help newborn revive their heart beat and breath. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder which occurs when a person’s throat muscles spasmodically relax and block the air passage during sleep. It causes breathing to start or stop abruptly during a sleep. The findings have concluded that babies of mothers who suffered from sleep apnea during their pregnancy were 25 per cent higher risk to be admitted to the intensive care unit.
These newborns were 2.76 times more likely to have resuscitation at birth and 2.25 times more likely to have a longer hospital stay. The risk for congenital anomalies also was 26 per cent higher in babies of women with sleep apnea.
“Our results have shown that babies born to mothers with a diagnosis of obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to require resuscitative efforts at birth, be born preterm, and to require a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit compared to babies who were not exposed to maternal sleep apnea,” said lead author Ghada Bourjeily, associate professor at the Brown University in Rhode Island, US.
For the study, published recently in the journal Sleep, the team analysed more than 1.4 million linked maternal and newborn records. Mothers with sleep apnea had a higher likelihood of having obesity, pre-gestational hypertension and diabetes.
“These findings add to our understanding of the extent of morbidities of maternal sleep apnea for the mother as well as the baby,” associate professor said.
“The results further highlight the importance of identifying this condition in pregnancy and testing the impact of therapy on these complications,” Bourjeily added.