Pregnancy has its ups and downs. Given the initial excitement of finding out the good news, most women are in for a little shock when it comes to quality of sleeping and finding a good sleep position during pregnancy. Pregnancy can take its toll on those nighttime zzzz’s. Here are some suggestions to help make dreamtime a little more relaxing.
It’s true that in the 2nd trimester most women feel better and sleep better. This is after the morning sickness and before the heaviness. However, sleep can be evasive even then. Here is a look at the trimester breakdown, how it affects sleep, and what to do to possibly help.
First trimester can bring on morning sickness. This plagued me with my first and third pregnancies. With my first pregnancy, I had morning sickness around the clock. Even trying to sleep was a struggle. I literally had a bucket by my bed just in case. As ironic as it sounds, eating a light snack before bedtime can help to alleviate the symptoms and help to ensure a better night’s sleep. If you do suffer from morning sickness, have some saltine crackers by your bedside to eat before rising to help ease into the morning. Usually, the extreme fatigue of the first trimester brings most mommies a good night’s rest.
Second trimester may be the easiest. However, some women are plagued with sciatica (sciatic nerve pain that runs from the lower back through the buttocks and down the legs). A nice warm bath will both relax and ease the pain. Placing a pillow between the knees and thighs also helps.
Third trimester brings on the heaviness and is probably the most uncomfortable time during the entire pregnancy. If you haven’t lost your mucus plug, taking a warm bath will help relax the stressed muscles. If you can’t take a bath, a warm shower will do nicely. Wear comfortable clothing, if any at all, and keep the room temperature comfortable. Place pillows between your knees and thighs, and place one or two behind your back and at your bulging tummy for support. This helps to keep your back from aching to keep you from rolling over onto your back, which is not recommended for sleeping. You may even try a pillow under your feet.
Because it is important to drink lots of water during pregnancy, this can add to nightly bathroom trips. Try to get your water intake in at least an hour before bedtime, this way you won’t have to go quite as often. Although the first and third trimesters are notorious for the number of bathroom runs in a day.
A stuffy nose, which occurs often during pregnancy, can be bothersome during those slumbering hours. Try some saline nose drops to help alleviate the stuffiness. Check with your doctor for safe over-the-counter drugs to help.
All in all, pregnancy and sleep sometimes will not mix too well. Do what you can to make yourself more comfortable and keep telling yourself that this will come to a close soon—pregnancy does have a definite end. Then you won’t have any trouble sleeping, except for those nighttime feedings and diaper changes. Now that is material for another article! Until then, sweet dreams!