Getting the proper amount of sleep while you’re pregnant can be a bit of a struggle. You’ll find yourself exhausted from practically waddling around all day. When you finally have a moment to yourself to get some rest, you start to dread those all-night interruptions of your sleep. But don’t fret – here are some tips for sleeping better during pregnancy!
Within the first trimester, you’re going to be facing things like nausea, and late night potty breaks. Morning sickness tends to occur around 4 a.m. or just before hitting the sack. Try raising your upper body to keep blood pumping and circulating. It will give you a better chance of avoiding that unwanted nausea. Place a wedge pillow underneath your standard pillow to give yourself a gradual incline. 15 degrees should do the trick. It will also help with heartburn. Also, avoid eating a large meal before drifting off to catch some z’s. We also often recommend carbonated beverages, such as sparkling water or ginger ale, as these seem to help many women with nausea during pregnancy.
You can expect to feel the urge to pee around 2:30 in the morning, due to your growing uterus. Keep in mind how important it is to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially throughout pregnancy. Make sure to cut out any carbonated beverages as well as anything that has aspartame (or NutraSweet), which can be found in low-calorie and sugar-free juices and sodas. They tend to perform as diuretics, which is the last thing you want or need. If you need to get out of bed, whatever you do, do not look at your blinding phone screen to see what time it is. It may end up keeping you up. See if you can buy a night-light for your bathroom to avoid being woken up by bright bulbs as they can strain your eyes and make it harder for you to go back to sleep.
During the second trimester, you’ll start feeling your baby’s movements. Most mommas say they start feeling the baby move its arms and legs for the first time at about 20 weeks. When you experience the case of the wiggles late at night, create a calming method you can initiate an hour before bed in an attempt to slow down the baby’s mo. Taking a brief stroll, for example, helps. Resist sweet or spicy foods past 4 p.m. to keep the potential kicking to a minimum.
If you happen to experience restless legs and your limbs feel fidgety, there could be a slight chance that you’re anemic or have an iron deficiency. Consult your obgyn to see if additional supplements are necessary to take along with your prenatal, whether it’s with extra iron or folate, and add vitamin C to help your body absorb it. Leg cramps are no fun, so if they start disturbing your slumber, see if you can include extra magnesium into your daily vitamin plan to help relieve the pain.
Once you’re in the third trimester, you’ve got a couple other things that could get in the way of your sleep. Worry, anxiety, aches, and pains, oh my! You may encounter some dreams that are a product of this worry and crippling anxiety. Books filled with baby advice can be overwhelming and make you think of every worst-case scenario, causing you unnecessary stress. If you have any concerns about the state of your pregnancy, take a class that demonstrates prenatal relaxation exercises or join a group with other soon-to-be mothers like yourself.
If that doesn’t keep your mind from racing, there’s no point in fighting it and getting flustered. Read a book that isn’t about pregnancy or heat up some tea to help give your body and mind a breather.
If your back, feet, and everything else aches and becomes too painful for you to be able to get enough sleep, try to lay on the left side of your body and place a pillow between your knees so that your hips align neutrally. This will reduce the weight applied on the vena cava, which is a blood vessel that can be crushed from your uterus pressing against it. If at that point you still can’t get comfortable, try applying some heat wherever you feel pain. Just remember to keep your tummy away from the warmth. With these steps, you should be “cruising for a snoozing!”
If you still have a hard time getting sufficient sleep for you and your baby, Dr. Ghea, a female obgyn in Fort Lauderdale, is happy to help. Her goal is to make women feel comfortable when talking about their bodies and expressing their health concerns. To schedule an appointment, call Westside OB/GYN Group at 954-473-2011 or come by the office in Plantation to meet with Dr. Ghea so she can answer all of your questions and recommend what’s best for you so that you can have a happy and healthy pregnancy!