Sleeping while pregnant can be super difficult for expecting moms. Here, I share my thoughts and tips on better sleep for mothers-to-be based on my experience.
I stressed out A LOT when I was pregnant with my first child. Everyone had an opinion about how to do this and when to do that. Frankly, it got a bit annoying to hear what was right/wrong throughout MY pregnancy. With that said, here is my disclosure on sleeping while pregnant: these tips are not intended to make you stress out. They are from my heart and are tips that worked for me. Relax and enjoy this time as much as possible and hopefully you find something here to help you get some zzzzzz.
Sleep Well, beautiful mommas.
I’m a back sleeper and would get light headed if I slept of my back so I had to train myself to sleep on my side. My doctor (and other experts) recommend sleeping on your left side as it helps by improving blood flow – and therefore nutrients – to the placenta. It also helps your kidneys efficiently eliminate waste products and fluids from your body, which in turn reduces swelling in your ankles, feet, and hands. Lying on your right side will not harm you or your baby, but it is less beneficial than lying on your left. If you need a firm pillow for side sleeping, you can grab one here.
2. Prop a pillow between your legs
I did this with both of my pregnancies and it helped balance out my fabulous, yet uncomfortable, large, belly.
3. Eat a light dinner
Several small, light meals during the day instead of a heavier one at night will encourage deeper sleep. Whether you’re pregnant or not this tip helps you sleep.
4. Get in a workout
A 30-minute daily workout will strengthen your body and get you in shape for labour and delivery. Brisk walking, lap swimming, stationary or recumbent biking, and a low-impact aerobics class designed for pregnant women are best. Check with your doctor before you start.
5. Maternity belt
I had back pain that kept me up frequently, until my doctor recommended I sleep in a maternity belt. It lowered my back pain, reduced pressure. For me, it helped lift up my belly slightly which released bladder pressure.
6. Hold the liquid after 5:00pm
I would get up several times a night to go to the bathroom, which really depleted my sleep. I then adopted the no liquid after 5pm. Dr. Grace Pien, MD a sleep researcher at the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Sleep and Respiratory Neurobiology agrees, except she recommends stopping at 4pm. Pien says, “Some of those nighttime trips are due to your physiology. But there’s also another reason: Most pregnant women are busy all day long and don’t take time to drink and stay hydrated. So when they get home, they tend to tank up.” The natural consequence of that is that we need to get up more frequently to make a trip to the bathroom. A better approach is to carry a large water bottle with you all day—and finish it before your cut off time (5:00pm).
7. Keep the parenting books in the living room
If you’re like me, I was reading a lot of parenting books. My advice, put them down before you head to bed and leave them in the living room. The chances you’ll be running if-then and what-if scenarios in your head is lessoned if it isn’t the last thing on your mind.
8. Try not to stress
You may be tossing and turning and feeling completely miserable, but your baby is floating around in a weightless environment, feeling no discomfort whatsoever. So rest easy! Meditate or do something that helps you relax.