Pregnant women who snore at least three nights a week are at an increased risk of having C-sections and delivering smaller babies than those who don't, says research.
According to the study, conducted in the University of Michigan Health System, chronic snorers or moms who snored before and during pregnancy are two thirds more likely to have a baby that's born below the tenth percentile for babies of the same gestational age compared to non-snorers.
Chronic snorers are also more than twice as likely to need an elective C-section, researchers found.
Lead author Louise O'Brien, Ph.D., M.S., associate professor at U-M's Sleep Disorders Center, said that chronic snoring is associated with both smaller babies and C-sections, even after accounting other risk factors.
The study suggests that doctors have a window of opportunity to screen pregnant women for breathing problems during sleep that may put them at risk of poor delivery outcomes, O'Brien explained.
Timing of snoring patterns also made a difference in outcomes, researchers found.
Meanwhile, those who started snoring only during pregnancy had higher risk of both elective and emergency C-sections than women who did not snore.
The study included 1,673 pregnant women, who were recruited from prenatal clinics at U-M between 2007 and 2010, with 35 percent of the women reporting habitual snoring.
The study is published in the scientific journal Sleep.