Peripartum Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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The prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea is unknown during pregnancy, but the syndrome is likely underdiagnosed and rising in frequency along with the obesity epidemic. Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with adverse outcomes, including hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, gestational diabetes, preterm, and cesarean delivery. Obese pregnant women should be screened and referred to a sleep medicine specialist for evaluation. Continuous positive airway pressure is the treatment of choice with demonstrated safety and compliance in pregnancy. Early anesthesia consultation allows for preparation and implementation of a peripartum plan that includes early labor analgesia, avoidance of respiratory depressants, and closer monitoring of oxygenation.

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