Pregnancy and Sleep Issues
Being a new mom-to-be isn’t easy from the very start. Our body goes into a state of exhaustion. We start going to bed earlier each night in the first trimester. One thing that does happen is a change in the quality of our sleep. The need to urinate frequently, making us wake more frequently plus the dreaded morning sickness (aka all-day sickness.)
Pregnancy from the very beginning can cause many different sleep issues. Getting comfortable is one area that is a constant struggle throughout the 9 months. What other areas could be causing sleep issues?
Reasons for Discomfort
The national sleep foundation mentions women who have extreme fatigue could be due to change in hormone levels. This then causes extreme daytime sleepiness. They also mention that several sleep disorders can be made worse during pregnancy such as restless leg syndrome (RLS). Over 26% of women suffered symptoms. Treatment for (RLS) can be tricky due the drug interaction. They do mention that Folate and Iron supplements could help with the symptoms and should be started before pregnancy to help alleviate the symptoms.
What Are Some Ways to Get Comfort?
One of the most comfortable positions during both my pregnancies and continues to be my favorite is (sleep on side) this is called S.O.S position. You want to place a pillow between your leg and knee for hip support.
The dreaded heartburn! If you are experiencing heartburn, I would suggest propping yourself up in the bed with pillows or buy an adjustable mattress to lift you up. This was the route my husband and I took. Some new moms-to-be suffer shortness of breath during the end of their pregnancy.
Make sure to check with your doctor to rule out any issues. One thing you can do is sit up or lay on your side to help with your breathing. I wish there was a magic button to make you more comfortable but as soon as baby is born, we forget all the discomfort.
Vivid dreams are listed as a reason to not sleep. I found this to be true in my own pregnancies. As soon as we are pregnant, we start to worry. If you are having frequent dreams please reach out to your doctor.
Positions to Avoid
Sleeping on your back
Sleeping on your stomach
You want to make sure you avoid these positions as much as possible. Why is this important? Low blood pressure, digestive system issues, backaches and breathing issues.
Other Tips for Sleep
Nap earlier in the day verses later to make sure you can fall asleep at bedtime.
Use a night light in the bathroom it’s less disruptive to your circadian rhythm.
Don’t force yourself to sleep suggestion is to read a book, write in a journal, knit or crochet.
Avoid spicy food if you have heartburn.
Drink lots of fluids.
Sleep on your left side for blood flow to the fetus.
Try to exercise 30 minutes a day (doctor approved).
Ranked top 200 best sleep consultant in the U.S. by www.tuck.com
Regional Director for the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants (APSC)
Summer has been working with families since 1996. She is a sleep correspondent for NPR news, Parent.com, and has been seen on AzLiving. Summer is experienced working with infants and specializing in sleep training singles, and multiples, also working with reflux and colic. Summer has worked with families in many different capacities. She has taught many families through phone, email, and text plus in-person training.
Summer is married to Miles Hartman for over 20 years and has 2 children Ethan and Sophia. She has worked in over 26 states and 3 country's as a newborn care specialist and sleep consultant. Her goal is to help and support parents as they go through the journey to parenthood. She has homes in Phoenix, Arizona, and Cincinnati, Ohio.