Neonatal Complications More Prevalent if Mother Has Sleep Apnea

There is a higher risk of congenital abnormalities and the need for resuscitation in babies born to mothers with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a new study finds.

Preliminary results of this research on babies born to mothers with OSA show the following:

  • 3% of newborns were more likely to be admitted to the intensive care unit
  • 9% of newborns would be admitted to the special care nursery
  • Newborns were 2.76 times more likely to need resuscitation immediately after birth
  • They were 2.25 times more likely to have a prolonged hospital stay
  • 26% of the babies had an elevated risk of congenital anomalies

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Lead investigator and author, Dr. Ghada Bourjeily, who is an associate professor at Brown University and the Women’s Medicine Collaborative in Providence, Rhode Island’s Miriam Hospital, noted that these results show that when compared to babies born to moms without OSA, these neonates were more likely to need resuscitation at birth, be born preterm, and need a prolonged stay in the neonatal intensive care unit.

Researchers gathered data from the National Perinatal Information Center.  With this information, a team led by Dr. Bourjeily reviewed greater than 1.4 million records from mothers and newborns with a delivery hospitalization between the years 2010 and 2014.  Fewer than 1% of the mothers analyzed had an obstructive sleep apnea diagnosis coded in their records; however, it is notable that mothers who did have the OSA diagnosis were more likely to be obese, have pre-gestational diabetes and hypertension.

Dr. Bourjeily noted that these findings are significant because they add to the understanding about the risk of morbidity from maternal sleep apnea in both the baby and the mom.  Additionally, the study highlights how important it is to detect the condition as early as possible in pregnancy and test whether therapy is beneficial to both patients and determine if it has any effect on the complications.

The abstract was recently published in the online supplement of SLEEP.  Dr. Bourjeily will present the findings on June 4 at the SLEEP 2017 Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, LLC (APSS) in Boston.


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1 thought on “Neonatal Complications More Prevalent if Mother Has Sleep Apnea

  1. Joyce Becker Reply

    Our 20yo daughter has narcolepsy with cataplexy. Is under care of Sleep Specialist who has her on Xyrem and Modafinil. She was responding well when first started but now has severe bouts of fatigue affecting her mental acuteness and her stamina (so weak not able to lift back-pack for college). Dr. Is trying to research her symptoms further and advise us on his recommendations later this month. Her quality of life is horrible and her determination and faith are keeping her functioning and strong. At 6 mo old, she. was diagnosed with infantile spasms and a regiment of the steroid ACTH was administered by us each day for over a month. She responded well as signs of seizures stopped but now we wonder if our administration of this steroid at such a young age has caused her current issues. We would appreciate any thoughts or recommendations to help her lead a healthy, stable life so she can reach her goal ofbecoming a History teacher. Best regards, J.

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