Finding out that you are pregnant is exciting news – and if you are pregnant for the first time, the months ahead will bring lots of expected changes and a few surprises, too. One of the unwelcome things many pregnant women experience is having trouble sleeping.
The reasons behind sleepless nights are natural – and part of a healthy, normal pregnancy. However, you can do a few things to ensure that you get the rest you need to have a healthy pregnancy and delivery.
Phases of Pregnancy
During your first trimester, there are many changes taking place in your body that can interrupt your normal sleep schedule. Hormone changes and increased demand on your cardiovascular system can make you feel exhausted.
This is natural, and feeling tired is normal. Get lots of rest and allow your body to adjust to all of the various changes.
By the third trimester, your growing baby will start to affect your bodily functions. You will feel the need to urinate more often due to pressure on your bladder, and this can make getting an uninterrupted night’s sleep a challenge.
Tips on How to Make Sleeping Better
Below are some key tips in sleeping more soundly while you’re pregnant:
Eat Smaller, More Frequent Meals
As your uterus expands along with your growing baby, it presses on many organs – including your digestive tract. This can make you feel uncomfortable after you eat a large portion of food. There is simply less room for food!
Making sure that your baby gets the nutrition it needs can make you feel bloated and uncomfortable after eating all the proper foods. To help prevent this discomfort, eat small portions more often during the day. And, avoid eating before you go to bed at night.
Avoid Drinking During Meals
Try to drink as little as possible during a meal. Instead, drink small amounts throughout the day. This will help you avoid feeling bloated and overfull at nighttime.
Prop Up Your Head with Extra Pillows
The hormonal changes you experience during pregnancy not only slow down your digestion, but they also relax the sphincter that prevents food and acids from coming back up into your food pipe (esophagus). This can cause problems while sleeping.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to sleep on extra pillows in order to prevent heartburn, so gravity naturally helps the food to stay down. This will also help later on in pregnancy when heartburn can be especially troublesome, because of the enlarging uterus presses on the digestive tract.
Keep a Steady Sleep Schedule
Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day. This will help you stay regulated and maintain a proper circadian rhythm for optimum sleep.
Use Pillows to Support Your Body
Try using a body pillow for support, or tuck a pillow between your knees to prevent back strain. It’s ideal to sleep on your left side.
Avoid Pressure on Your Digestive Tract
Eat mild foods, and watch out for acidic citrus fruit and drinks. Try not to lie down soon after eating – wait until you’ve fully digested your food.
Never take any kind of medications, either over-the-counter or prescription, without consulting with your doctor first.
Experienced OB/GYN in Syracuse
Although sleep can be more difficult when you are pregnant, you should not feel exhausted or ill because of lack of sleep. If making these small changes does not help, talk with your doctor about possible alternatives.
If you are in search of an excellent OB/GYN center, University OB/GYN Associates is here for you. We are affiliated with SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, New York.
Our gynecologists and obstetricians are dedicated, caring people who practice with the highest professional regard for each patient. To make an appointment, call us at (315) 464-5162, or request an appointment online. We look forward to taking care of you.