Never mind a wailing newborn in the middle of the night, your sleep problems are going to pretty much start the moment you get pregnant. Rather than looking at the potential problems as an excuse to miss out on thrill of new-mommy-dom, you can stop the issues before they start by knowing what to expect and stocking up on solutions.
Dreadful Dozing Positions
Every sleeping position can seem dreadful, thanks to your massive abdomen as well as the blasting back pain and leg cramps that often come with being pregnant. Sleeping on your tummy is out for obvious reasons, and sleep expert Donna Arand says sleeping on your back is equally as horrendous. The latter puts the entire weight of your heavy uterus directly on your spine, intestines, back muscles and major blood vessels. Ouch.
The solution is what’s colloquially known as “SOS,” or sleep on side. Your left side is preferable for its increased ability to fuel your placenta and baby with nutrients and blood, and you can prop a pillow beneath your abdomen to help alleviate back pain. Quality beds, such as those outfitted with supportive Macy mattresses, can additionally help you find comfort when you thought there’d be none.
Bothersome Breathing Issues
Pregnancy can make you feel like you’re always fighting to get more air, which doesn’t really make for a good night’s sleep. Hormones in early pregnancy can kick your breathing into high gear while your growing uterus in later pregnancy starts to press up against your diaphragm.
SOS can again come to your rescue, offering a position that allows for the free flow of air (or at least the freest flow possible). Make breathing while snoozing even easier by propping up your upper half with pillows.
Ever try to burp in your sleep? Well, you will now, except you probably won’t stay asleep through it. Heartburn hits due to the slowing down of your digestive system, which leaves the food kicking around longer in your tummy and intestines. The bigger you get, the worse it can become, since your ever-growing uterus begins to press ever harder on your digestive organs.
Fight for your sleep, once again, with SOS. Propping pillows beneath your upper half can help with the breathing and the heartburn. You may also want to steer clear of stewed lemons, fried tomatoes and other acidic foods as your bedtime snack.
Prolific Pee Breaks
If you thought kids trapped in a car during a road trip had to take a lot of bathroom breaks, just wait until you try sleeping while pregnant. And it’s not because you drank too much warm milk at bedtime, either. Your kidneys have up to 50 percent more blood to process with that little bun in the oven, and the harder they work, the more urine they produce and the more frequently you’ll have to pee.
You’re basically SOL if you expect to stop the frequent bathroom breaks, but you can make them a bit less daunting when they come knocking in the middle of the night. Install a warm, glowing nightlight that softly beckons you to the loo, and line the cold tile bathroom floor with a comfy, cushy and non-slip throw rug.
*Photo by Flickr user Bonbon