Daily Health Tips: Snoring And Big Babies


It’s a 2-question night 😀

 

Q1: Good evening Dr. Thanks for being there for us to share your knowledge with us. God will continue to increase your knowledge in Jesus name, amen. Now to my question…I am age 50-60 and I just discovered that I snore when I sleep. What can I do because my children complain about it. Please, help. Is there any medicine or what?

 

A1: Thanks for your prayers and Amen to them.

I actually answered this question not too long ago, but I repeat it here for you.

Snoring can be a problem as it can disturb sleep for you, your partner and perhaps even your neighbours 😀  When we sleep, our muscles relax. This includes the tissues in the airways (throat). Snoring occurs as air passes through the airways that are partially obstructed by relaxed tissues. As the air flows, these tissues vibrate and we hear the sound described as snoring.

Occasional snorers are mainly problematic to their partners (who may or may not put up with it) but habitual snorers impede sleep for their partners and the quality of their own sleep is markedly reduced. As a result, daytime sleepiness, morning headaches and not feeling quite rested after sleeping may be normal symptoms for both parties.

Causes of snoring include alcohol consumption (due to relaxation of throat muscles), being overweight (due to narrowing of the airways from extra tissues at the back of the throat), seasonal allergies, cold or sinus problems, enlarged tonsils or even sleeping position (sleeping on the back). Apart from the above, being a man and having a family history of snoring puts one at risk.

It is possible to stop snoring through lifestyle modifications and they include:
• Losing weight. If one is overweight, the fatty tissues around the neck can squeeze the airway and this makes it difficult for air to flow freely.

  • Sleeping on your back! I keep trying to get my daughter to do this and I’ve failed woefully so far :DBut this may help as it helps keep your tongue out of your airway. It certainly helps my daughter when I can get her to stay in that position long enough to sleep
  • Stop smoking as this irritates your throat and can cause swelling. Again, this prevents the free flow of air.
  • You know how you feel alcohol makes one relax? Well, they kinda do the same thing to the muscles of the throat :DThis makes them collapse easily, reducing the airway. So, try and avoid this at least two hours before bedtime.
  • Exercising often prevents you from being overweight and prevents those fatty tissues from squeezing your airways shut

Treating allergies or sinus/tonsil problems and slightly raising the head of your bed may also help.

I hope these tips help. If the snoring persists, please see your doctor. He may suggest some anti-snoring devices…any one of some oral appliances (provided by dentists specialized in snoring problems may help), nasal strips, pressurized masks, implants or surgery, as a final resort may be used to treat this. Or he may consider some other diagnosis like sleep apnea (in which one wakes up gasping for breath as the airways close up often during the night).

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Q2: Hello ma’am. I am a newly married man and my wife is pregnant but what is worrying me is the way she always wants to take a chocolate-based drink and milk. My question is that, will that not make the baby to over grow in the uterus and lead the delivery to be C.S.? Thanks ma’am

 

A2: Big babies are usually seen in women who

  • Are diabetic.
  • Have gestational Diabetes (Diabetes that is observed during pregnancy),
  • Are obese
  • Have had another big baby before
  • Have had a lot of babies (from the 5thpregnancy, the risk of big babies increase)
  • Excessive weight gain during pregnancy
  • Are older. From age 35 years, the risk of having a big baby increases
  • Have pregnancies that are overdue. When a pregnancy is more than 2 weeks overdue, the chances of a big baby are increased.

For women with big babies (fetal macrosomia), a vaginal delivery may not be a complete no no! However, your OBGYN will weigh the risk of that against your medical history and other pre-existing medical conditions. Potential complications include having genital tract tears during delivery, prolonged labour and rupture of the uterus. The babies may be born with a higher than normal blood sugar level and be prone to childhood obesity.

However, none of this needs to happen if you are registered in a good center under the care of a qualified obstetrician. In these centres, all possible complications are anticipated during pregnancy and at the time of delivery.

To prevent this, remember that feeding for 2 is a fad. You don’t really need to eat like a horse 😀 …you and your baby don’t need that much (an average of 12kg weight gain for 9 months…little over 1kg/month!); include some exercise (gentle stretches and walks, with your doctor’s knowledge and advice) and be sure that Diabetes is controlled, if you have this before pregnancy.

Pregnancy is associated with increased cravings and of course growth of the baby, but you do not need significantly more calories to cope with this state. The recommended weight gain for pregnancy is 8 – 16 kg in all (with an average of 12kg).

Let me break it down for you.

During your first trimester, you actually do not need more calories than when you were not pregnant. You can continue with the activities you used to do before including exercise. However, exercise should be toned down from vigorous to moderate. Moderate exercise is any physical activity that you perform that but you’re still able to carry on a conversation without running out of breath…that’s as simple an explanation as it goes :D. It includes walking, swimming, dancing, pregnancy exercises (these are taught in some antenatal classes), stretching and relaxation exercises. Remember that you must never start on any exrcise regimen without discussing with your doctor who knows your specific medical history.

Please note that you should never to exercise to the point of exhaustion, not to over-heat yourself and not to carry on any jumping etc…partly because you are prone to injuries of the ligaments (like sprains)and because, it’s just not safe at the time. I always used to know I was pregnant whenever I sprained my ankle…it happened in 2 out of 3 pregnancies! It may not be an exact science, but it worked for me 😀 Just kidding…don’t try this at home 😀

During your second trimester, your calorie needs start to increase. The recommended increase in calorie intake is about 300 calories per day. Does this sound like much? It actually is not! A popular brand of wheat biscuits (serving size of 4) is 240 calories. That’s wheat biscuit :D. So, imagine the quantum of calories in the other junk foods we crave for during this time! Take the time to read labels of food packs and check what a serving size is. If there are two serving portions in a tub of ice cream and you finish the whole tub, you’ve clearly eaten double the calories that is written on the tub!

In the final trimester, the calorie requirement increase some more to about 400 calories per day. Note that for multiple pregnancies (twins, triplets etc), the calorie needs are extra 400 calories in second trimester and extra 500-600 calories in the third trimester.

So, what to eat? The same things you did before you hot pregnant…assuming you were eating right 😀 More fruits and veggies, complex carbohydrates (they are rich in fibre and keep you feeling full for a longer period of time) like beans, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, brown rice etc. Load up on proteins too (fish, chicken etc), calcium tich foods like yoghurt, skimmed milk…you don’t want to experience those muscle cramps of pregnancy. They can be excruciating! I know…I’ve had them J

Eat 5 small meals a day: breakfast, snack, lunch, snack and dinner. This should keep the hunger pangs at bay and deal with the cravings. You probably will still crave stuff: Iyalamala’s food, ice cream with all the toppings, a ‘ginormous’ burger etc and guess what? You can give in once in a blue moon, just don’t make it a habit! This includes your wife’s love for her chocolate drink. If she’s still in tune with recommended weight gain for pregnancy, that’s good. If not, she may need to make it an occasional treat. Some of these chocolate-based drinks also have caffeine which may not be a great idea during pregnancy, especially if she is over-indulging in it. If you take in more calories than you need, you run the risk of having a big baby with all the complications associated with that during pregnancy and delivery and of course, it’s harder to get back to your pre-pregnancy weight after the baby.

As usual, whenever in doubt, please speak with your doctor.

Have a good night, y’all 😀

 

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