Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Helping Sleeping Moms-to-Be Breathe Easier May Benefit Baby

Helping Sleeping Moms-to-Be Breathe Easier May Benefit Baby

01/05/13

SATURDAY, Jan. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Treating pregnant women with preeclampsia for mild breathing problems during sleep can benefit the growing fetus, a small new study suggests.

Preeclampsia, a dangerous condition related to high blood pressure and protein in the urine in the later weeks of pregnancy, affects about 5 percent of pregnancies.

"What would otherwise have been considered clinically unimportant or minor 'snoring' likely has major effects on the blood supply to the fetus, and that fetus in turn protects itself by reducing movements," study principal investigator Colin Sullivan said in a news release from the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. "This can be treated with readily available positive airway pressure therapy and suggests that measurement of fetal activity during a mother's sleep may be an important and practical method of assessing fetal well-being."

The researchers focused on 20 women with moderate to severe preeclampsia whose fetuses showed much less activity overnight. Fetal activity in the womb is thought to be an indication of their health.

On alternate nights, the women received treatment with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine designed to keep the throat open. The throat closes as many as dozens of times a night in people with sleep apnea, causing breathing to fail and waking them up without their knowledge. This leads to poor sleep and can affect adults' health.

In the study, fetal movements grew from 319 per night on average when mothers did not receive CPAP treatment to 592 movements when mothers did receive CPAP.

"Maternal [sleep-disordered breathing] represents a unique opportunity to study the effect of in utero exposures on postnatal development and future risk. This has major implications for public health," Louise O'Brien, an associate professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in a commentary on the study. "It raises the possibility that a simple, noninvasive therapy for [sleep-disordered breathing] may improve fetal well-being."

Although the study, which appears in the January issue of the journal Sleep, found an association between mothers' sleep-breathing problems and fetal movement, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship.

More information

Visit the American Academy of Pediatrics for more on prenatal health.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse Hospital First in Region to Use New da Vinci Xi Surgical System
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >