Sleep Care

Sleeping During Pregnancy

Most women will at some point during their pregnancy complain of difficulty sleeping. Depending on where you are in your pregnancy your symptoms will change to reflect your growing baby. Often these symptoms have to do with the position of your baby, particularly in relation to your bladder. Frequent urination is one of the most common complaints for expecting mothers. Below are some of the most common sleeping complaints broken down by trimester, as well as some tips to help relieve these problems.

First Trimester: During early pregnancy mothers can experience: frequent urination at night, difficulty sleeping due to emotional and physical changes, increased fatigue and daytime sleepiness, occasional mild insomnia, and nausea. During this time, some tips to help promote a healthy sleep pattern are: avoid drinking fluids before bed, practice relaxation techniques such as yoga or deep breathing, get healthy amounts of exercise during the day, and avoid foods that will increase heartburn and nausea (e.g., spicy foods). You may also want to keep crackers or other stomach-settling foods nearby, in case you become nauseas right before or during sleep.

Second Trimester: During this period most women find that they are increasingly more fatigued during the day and become more restless at night. Also during this period some women find that frequent urination is lessened due to the position of the baby. It’s very important during this time, if you are having trouble sleeping, to limit your stress and make relaxing and sleeping a priority. Try to set aside the worries that you have before bedtime and engage in relaxation techniques. Sometimes even the occasional massage or hot bath can help promote a good night of sleep.

Third Trimester: During the final trimester of pregnancy most women find that due to their size sleeping becomes difficult. In the third trimester it is also common to have trouble with heartburn, leg cramps, foot swelling, sinus congestion, frequent urination, and insomnia. During this time it is important to discuss these issues with your physician, as there may be some medications or techniques that can help to alleviate some of your symptoms.  To battle the discomfort of sleeping, pillows can be very helpful. Using pillows to prop yourself up higher, or to use between your legs to support your belly and back, are recommended. Other recommendations are to watch your nutrition if heartburn is an issue and to stay away from foods that can trigger heartburn, such as spicy or acidic foods. Exercise and relaxation are also important at this stage in pregnancy. Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, stay active and relaxed; this can help you fall asleep and stay asleep longer. Many women are increasingly worried and stressed late in the pregnancy, so relaxation and stress management are crucial to avoiding insomnia.



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