From the morning sickness of the first trimester to the swollen feet and heartburn of the third, pregnancy is a beautiful experience that is plagued with definite bumps along the road. However, one of the biggest challenges that comes with the first and third trimesters is getting enough sleep. Don't spend another night tossing and turning trying to find a comfortable position that is safe for the baby and instead, here are a few tips to help you actually sleep during your first and third trimesters:
Sleeping During the First Trimester
Even though your baby bump isn't quite noticeable doesn't mean that you won't be uncomfortable during the first trimester of pregnancy – especially at night while you're trying to sleep.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, there are many hormonal and psychological reasons why many pregnant women simply cannot get a good night's sleep during the first trimester.
Here are a few tips to help combat these issues:
Why Am I So Hot? – The sudden rush of hormones that occurs during the first trimester can make you feel like you're constantly hot. If you're having trouble sleeping, don't hesitate to do whatever it takes to safely cool off. Take a cool shower before bed, sleep in your bra and panties or turn up the air conditioner.
Sleeping and Nausea – It's called "morning" sickness, but unfortunately, the nausea can strike at any time – including the middle of the night while you're trying to sleep. The best way to combat this is to have a light snack before bed, such as a few soda crackers or a sandwich.
Anxiety – The anxiety a woman experiences throughout her pregnancy, including the first trimester, is a mixture of hormonal fluctuations and fear of what lies ahead. If your anxiety is keeping you awake, try a few relaxation techniques at night. For example, take a few deep breaths, get up and walk around the house or talk to your mate about your concerns.
According to Baby Center, sleeping on your left side during the first trimester is the best position for the baby and mommy. Not only is this more comfortable, sleeping on your left side helps take pressure off of the expectant mother's internal organs, while still providing the baby all the oxygen it needs.
Sleep and The Third Trimester: It is Possible
The third trimester is an exciting, exhausting and uncomfortable time in a woman's pregnancy. You're ready to meet your new baby, and nervous about what is coming: labor.
Your growing belly is making it even more difficult to get a decent amount of rest, but with a few simple changes to your bedtime routine, it's still possible to get the sleep you'll need to begin preparing for the baby's arrival.
I Have to Pee – Your growing baby is beginning to put a lot of pressure on your internal organs, particularly your bladder. Drinking less water in the afternoon and heading to the bathroom one last time right before bed can help.
Heartburn and Acid Reflux – The combination of hormonal changes and a growing baby can also lead to severe heartburn during the third trimester. If you're suffering at night, avoiding spicy foods, sleeping propped up and taking an antacid before bed can help ease the heartburn at night.
Aches and Pains – From your swollen feet to a sore back, the third trimester is plagued with aches and pains. If you're truly suffering, ask your doctor about taking an OTC pain reliever. However, if you'd rather try a more natural approach, invest in a pregnancy pillow. These pillows, used with your mattresses, are designed to cradle an expectant mother while she's sleeping on her side, which is the safest position for the baby.
Sleeping during pregnancy might seem like an elusive dream, but it is possible. If you've tried all the home remedies recommended by your mother or best friend and still can't seem to sleep, don't hesitate to speak to your obstetrician.