Expecting moms, take note: a new study suggests that treatment of mild sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy in pregnant women with preeclampsia improves fetal activity levels, a marker of fetal well-being.

Posted over at MedicalNewsToday.com, the study focused on women with preeclampsia--sudden spikes in blood pressure--which affects blood flow to the placenta, the fetus’ main source of nutrition. In spite of the debilitation, those who underwent CPAP therapy increased fetal movement to 592 as opposed to 319 movements during a night without it.

"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," says Colin Sullivan, PhD, the study's principal investigator.

Five percent of pregnant women have preeclampsia, according to authors. This condition can prove detrimental not only to the mother’s health, but it can lead to restricted growth in fetuses.

According to another article on MedicalNewsToday.com, symptoms of preeclampsia may include dizziness and severe headaches, blurry vision, rapid weight gain, pain below the ribs, and vomiting. If you experience several of these, it’s best to seek the help of your gynecologist.

(Photo by Paulina Clemente via Flickr Creative Commons)

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