Pregnancy Sleep: Are You Getting Enough ZZZs?
If you’re a first-time mom, you may not have expected sleep problems to arise before your little one was born. Sleep problems are common in pregnancy and can affect even the most resilient women. The key is to remember that any discomfort you may be feeling is short-lived, with the result of welcoming your new baby. Staying comfortable as your belly grows is probably the most common sleep problem during pregnancy, with frequent bathroom breaks, changes in temperature and weird pregnancy dreams being some of the other culprits. Here are some of Cherokee Women’s suggestions on getting a good night’s sleep while pregnant.
As your belly continues to grow, you won’t be able to sleep on your stomach or on your back, leaving side-sleeping as the only option in those last few months. Back sleeping isn’t advised after your first trimester, since being flat on your back can put unnecessary pressure on blood vessels. More than likely, it won’t be comfortable anyway, as the weight of your uterus and baby pressing up against you will make it difficult to sleep. Sleeping on your side is easier on your circulatory system, and the left side is preferred because it allows for maximum blood flow.
Stock up on Pillows
To help make sleeping on your side more comfortable, especially if you’re a tummy or back sleeper, stock up on pillows. Some pregnant women find relief by putting a pillow between their legs. You can also place one under your belly and behind your back. There are also custom-fit full-body pillows specifically designed for pregnant mamas that cradle all these areas, aiding in a better night’s sleep.
Of course, if you wake up in the middle of the night and realize you’ve shifted to your stomach or back, don’t panic. More than likely, it was your body’s way of telling you to shift positions, or you’re waking up to use the bathroom, again. To help you make the most of your pregnancy sleep cycles, avoid caffeine after lunchtime, curb your liquid intake after dinner (to keep you from those frequent bathroom breaks), and make sure you’re getting plenty of exercise (but avoid exercise right before bed). You can also take a warm bath or practice relaxation exercises to help you drift off easier.
If you’re not getting enough sleep or have concerns about sleep positions during pregnancy, talk to your doctor the next time you’re at our Canton or Woodstock office.